Option B for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

Three Expressway options were considered

The Roads Minister Jesse Norman MP has announced the chosen central corridor for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Corridor B was judged to offer greater benefits to the region, such as providing better links to jobs, education, leisure and health services.

The Expressway is expected to shave up to 40 minutes off the journey between the A34 south of Oxford and the M1.

The Minister said:

“England’s economic heartland, as it has been called, already plays a crucial role in powering the UK’s growth, science and innovation, but there is no single route to connect Oxford and Cambridge.

“This expressway will enhance both transport connectivity and growth across the region for the benefit of the UK as a whole.”

Option A was to the south of Buckingham, and C was to the north of Aylesbury.

By following a route close to the east/west rail link will also the offer more options for the commercial development of up to 1 million new homes, in line with proposals by the National Infrastructure Commission.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said:

“The Expressway will provide a link between 2 of the country’s intellectual powerhouses and open up vital jobs, skills and housing opportunities to transform the region’s economy.”

The case for the Expressway Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) said that Option B was the worst of the three options that were under consideration.

BBOWT Chief Executive, Estelle Bailey, said on its website:

“We told Highways England that the potential impact on biodiversity of Corridor B is so serious that the route should have been discounted entirely.

“The only way to avoid exceptionally serious impacts on biodiversity would be to develop a road route that is so convoluted that it would fail to qualify as an expressway.”

A full public consultation will be held next year, in which residents and businesses in and around the corridor will have their say on more detailed designs for the route.

The Expresswayis expected to open in 2030.