Oxford City Council Opposes Proposed Expressway

Hulton Park

31st January 2019

In a motion proposed by Cllr Andrew Gant, Oxford City Council resolved to oppose the Expressway as it is currently proposed. 

 OCC feel there is a disconnect between the Oxford 2050 document, which enthusiastically welcomes the perceived benefits of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, and the Oxfordshire Growth Board which regrets lack of clarity and, while welcoming the principle of the Expressway, did not wholly agree that it would relieve traffic using the A34.

The public Meeting Notes state (also see link below):
Council also notes that this lack of clarity contributes to considerable uncertainty both about how the Expressway is intended to deliver benefit and about the possible impact on homes, lives, the environment, amenities, and facilities including in and adjacent to the greater Oxford area.
In particular, Council notes with regret that:
1. It is unclear what the word “Expressway” means in this context
2. Insufficient work has been done on the potential of enhanced rail linksto deliver better outcomes for passengers, freight, and sustainable economic growth
3. Actual and proposed consultation is inadequate
4. It is unclear which of a range of possible justifications for the Expressway, which potentially contradict each other, are being used, including:
     a) a ‘strategic route’ to carry freight traffic from the west and south to the east.
     b) a route to make commuting between Oxford/Milton Keynes/Bedford/Cambridge easier and quicker.
     c) a road that will enable significant housing growth of 1,000,000 extra houses along its length.
     d) relieving traffic on the A34, as one member of the Growth Board has stated publicly (which does not appear to be one of the stated aims, and current plans do not rule out using the A34 in part as the Expressway, which would of course add                   more traffic to it).
5. Increased road building will inevitably have a serious negative impact on air quality at a time when all public bodies must seek to use every part of their planning, investment and delivery mechanisms to achieve the opposite.

Council therefore resolves to oppose the Expressway as it is currently proposed.

Visit the Oxford City Council website to see documents in full.