Skip to navigation

Public Inquiry needed for Oxford-Cambridge Expressway & growth corridor

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 12:58

CPRE Oxfordshire is calling for a public inquiry into the Ox-Cam growth corridor and Expressway, so that decisions are open and transparent.

The National Infrastructure Commission will very shortly publish its recommendation on an Oxford to Cambridge Growth Corridor of a million more houses, and job creation to justify them. Meanwhile Highways England will begin work this month to decide the route that the Expressway, which supports this growth corridor, should take. Both these issues are highly contentious, but the intention is nevertheless that both should be decided behind closed doors. It is essential that there is a statutory public consultation and Public Inquiry into both, so that at the very least justice will properly be seen to be done.

Dr Peter Collins, Chairman, CPRE Oxfordshire, said:

The public rightly expect such life-changing and long-lasting decisions to be made with full transparency. The Expressway and growth corridor would completely change the character of Oxfordshire and there must be absolute openness when considering how any potential economic benefits could possibly outweigh the enormous environmental damage.

A full case for a public inquiry is set out at the document at the bottom of this page.

The Action Required

It is obvious, and the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council has said as much, that any decision to impose a Growth Corridor on rural Oxfordshire will be contentious to say the least; it is also obvious, as he also accepts, that any of the potential Expressway routes – including upgrading the A34 – will be environmentally harmful, albeit to varying degrees.

It is essential to open Government that important matters which are capable of being decided in the open, and with public involvement, should be decided in the open and not as is currently intended, behind closed doors.

It is also clearly the case that whilst the outcome of an open consultation and a Public Inquiry may still lead to discontent, its teeth will be largely drawn if the public can see that the decision was fact based and open.

An open independent decision will also absolve authorities and elected representatives of the accusations of complicity or failure to do their duty which are already widely voiced.

CPRE Oxfordshire asks you to make representations to your Council that they should demand, or to the Government that they should provide, a full statutory public consultation followed by a Public Inquiry at which the environmental and social costs of the Growth Corridor should be weighed against the potential economic benefits envisaged, and the routing of any Expressway, at least through Oxfordshire, should be decided, in the open.

join us

Donate with JustGiving


Back to top