Petitioner claims expressway and a million new homes would be “disastrous”
As well as the Expressway, the development could see up to a million new homes built along the Oxford, Milton Keynes, and Cambridge arc. It is being backed by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.
Elaine, from Oxford, said:
“We need a petition to get a proper, and ongoing, debate on the whole concept of the Expressway.
“Times are changing. By the time the expressway development is anticipated to be built we will have left the EU and priorities may be different.”
Elaine cannot see any benefits from developing the Oxford – Cambridge Corridor and is calling for changes to how people work. She said:
“Instead of rushing into work each day people could also be using Skype and other electronic communication.
“The working day could be staggered and coordinated to make it work effectively.”
Environmental needs should be put before “vanity projects”
Elaine wants the government to find ways of being flexible and responding to urgent environmental needs. She is calling for it to stop pursuing unlimited growth and uneconomic vanity projects just because they make a good business case.
“Planning and development are still in the 20th century when population density was much less, and we were oblivious to the impending climate crisis and all associated loss of species and habitats.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England claims that the Corridor would mean the loss of 27,000 hectares of farmland and woodland. Elaine said:
“We have the intelligence and technology to sustain human habitation of the planet. It’s time to make a stand against human profligacy.”
Residents should get involved in local government
As well as signing the petition, Elaine is calling on residents living along the Oxford – Cambridge Corridor to get more involved in local government by attending local meetings and holding the decision makers to account.
“We are also getting closer to the time when if we don’t make radical changes to the way we govern and live our lives, the planet will not sustain us.”
Lidlington Action Group welcomes the petition
Rob Booth, chair of the Lidlington Action Group which is opposing plans to build 5,000 houses around his village, said:
“We welcome this petition. Plans for the Oxford-MK-Cambridge growth corridor have been drawn up and promoted by unelected and unaccountable bodies including the England’s Economic Heartlands Strategic Alliance.
“There has been no meaningful consultation with local people. For example, councillors in Central Bedfordshire are apparently signed up to support these plans without ever debating them, let alone voting on them. That cannot be right.
“There are better options and ways to secure the economic and social benefits the Government is trying to achieve here. But we are not being allowed to discuss them. All we get to do is choose the colour of the road signs.”
Petition runs until March
Over 1,000 people have already signed Elaine’s petition, the government has to respond once it reaches 10,000 signatures.
At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament. It is open until 7 March.
Central Bedfordshire Council was approached for a comment, but a spokesperson was not available.