RECENT research shows most recent road building schemes have no economic benefit. Why should our councils be made to choose which route they prefer for an ‘OxCam’ OxfordCambridge Expressway road for which there is no sustainable economic or environmental case?

The DCLG wants one million homes built along whichever OxCam route is chosen. Encouraging another two million people to live in already overpopulated regions is unsustainable.

The Oxford-Milton Keynes section of the Expressway would cost about £3.5bn of our taxes. The total Newbury-Cambridge route could cost several billion more.

Network Rail is slowly working to reopen the Oxford-Cambridge railway. That will reduce road congestion, increase energy efficiency and make the Expressway road unnecessary.

Chiltern Railways may soon reinstate passenger trains to Littlemore and Cowley. But the DfT and Network Rail have deferred redoubling of the Cotswold Line, and indefinitely shelved reopening railway stations at Grove, Kidlington and Yarnton.

Oxfordshire’s bus operators give the best service they can, but suffer increasing road congestion. Reopening the railway to Witney and extending it to Carterton would relieve the A40 and help buses. Reopening the railway to Abingdon would also help buses.

Each new rail station enables new bus services. Opening Oxford Parkway station prompted the creation of two new Woodstock-KidlingtonOxford bus routes.

All the rail improvements listed above, with resulting benefits to bus services, would cost less than the Expressway road. The DfT and National Infrastructure Commission should cancel OxCam and invest the savings in public transport.


Chairman, Bus Users Oxford