EXPRESSWAY ACTION GROUP
EAG Oxfordshire Parliamentary Candidate Survey
indicates huge opposition to OxCam expressway across the County.
With the impending election, and the widespread concern about the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, EAG wrote to all 27 Oxfordshire Parliamentary Candidates in the General Election and asked
" Are you FOR or OPPOSED to building a new Oxford to Cambridge Expressway through Oxfordshire"
We also asked them to explain their position.
20 of the 27 have already responded or made public statements and ALL of those OPPOSE the plans
There were 3 main corridor routes under consideration for the Oxfordshire stretch of the expressway.
Each route has the potential to be devastating to our local environment, Green Belt and historic places.
In 2016 Highways England were given the remit to progress the first stages of the project, they appointed a consultancy, Jacobs, to conduct a programme of consultation with appointed stakeholders (local councils, wildlife trusts etc.).
The corridor decision has been announced and the target date for commencement of construction is 2025.
About the EAG
The Expressway Action Group (EAG) represents over 40 villages and parishes across Oxfordshire with over 30,000 residents.
We are now Stakeholders in Highways England’s Stakeholder Engagement process, and have submitted economic, environmental and wildlife / habitat evidence to the Highways / Jacobs Engagement teams.
We are gravely concerned regarding the risks that this project poses to our communities and the environment. We are also concerned at the risk of a dilution of the Arc’s effectiveness in job creation and GDP uplift.
We are especially concerned that some interested parties have been actively promoting a new Southern expressway route past Oxford.
Since its inception in the summer of 2017, the EAG has grown from 9 villages/parishes to over 40 parishes. EAG has achieved some significant successes to date.
It has been accepted as a stakeholder group, alongside Councils, Oxford Colleges, developers and landowners and has had two high level meetings with government including meetings in Whitehall/Westminster with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss MP and her key officials, and the Special Advisor to Chris Grayling, Transport Minister.
The EAG has also achieved extensive regional press and broadcast coverage and built a good working relationship with Highways England (HE) who have set up a special channel for EAG for submission of environmental and heritage data.
And as required most of this data was sent by end Feb from almost all villages to ensure Highways factor in all their significant environment, economic, archaeological /historical and other key features into their decision process.
EAG believe that the Government is intent on building the Expressway. Although we might not like any of the corridors or routes, we must try our best to influence the outcome.
The chosen corridor and final route must be the least harmful route for the environment and our communities – that will be the route that uses the most existing roads.
HE have submitted their recommendation for corridor B and this has now been announced as the preferred corridor by Government.
Extract from statement: "This decision determines the broad area within which the road will be developed: the process of designing a specific route will now get under way, involving extensive further consultation with local people to find the best available options. Members of the public will be able to comment on the full set of front-running designs in a public consultation next year, and the road is on schedule to be open to traffic by 2030".,
HE will continue to manage this process. The EAG are evaluating the next steps and will take an active role in the consultation process.
We anticipate further intensive lobbying from vested interests in the county and government concerning the options for the route for the Expressway around Oxford.
Central government is being polite and while some of our initiatives are beginning to get some traction, we still need to make as much noise as possible and voice our concerns regarding the possibility of the route destroying Green Belt and countryside.
We need to let politicians and local councillors know that this matters to us and might influence the way we vote!
What can you do?
Write / E-mail
It will definitely help if you write to MP’s and councillors.
Ask what they are doing to prevent the damage and destruction of over ten miles of un spoilt Green Belt if an eastern route around Oxford were chosen.
Point out the benefits of using and upgrading existing roads as part of the corridor
Point out that using existing roads would save £400m of tax payers money vs a new road.
Ask why they can’t adopt and adapt the Northern A34 route which is already, in all but name, an Expressway
Secretary of State for Transport
He has already Promised a review of the project should the Conservatives be returned to power.He will be the person making the final decision. Even if you have already written please just drop him another note. They have short memories!
Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
Tel: 0300 330 3000
Tell all your friends and contacts in other villages
Spread the word
EAG member parishes held a photocall and media briefing to help make more people in Oxfordshire aware of the potential blight to our county, communities, villages and their wildlife - the OxCamExpressway represents. We had a great turn-out and a wonderful mix of parishes and people with some impressive placards and posters.
Although we’ve been making quite a bit of noise – there are still many people in villages that will be affected who still have not heard of the Expressway or understand how it could dramatically affect them, their villages, local amenities and surrounding countryside.
Tell them to check out the EAG Facebook page.
EAG have launched a Poster Campaign across Oxfordshire. We have put together three different treatments to be used in different ways and locations.
Put Up Posters
At home, in your village, on Parish noticeboards, at your place of work, on local roads, schools, clubs.
Please print some for your own village’s use and help us make more impact.
You can find PDF Files of the posters here
There are a few different posters to choose from.
EAG AREA posters to position on major road junctions and places where there are rush-hour pinch points, outside villages.
EAG Windows and Gardens posters for use in your village houses and community
And Roadside Series posters to place in sequence on approaches to traffic lights, village 30/20 zones, etc.
Download and print a copy of our leaflet to handout to neighbours or to circulate at village events and fetes.
We have also produced a list of frequently asked questions that you are welcome to handout.