A GREEN Party MEP has delivered another broadside to the Government over the potential £3bn Oxford-Cambridge expressway.

Keith Taylor visited Oxfordshire yesterday to meet campaigners and groups opposed to the expressway, which will cut across swathes of green space across the county.

Mr Taylor said the Government should be prioritising sustainable transport, such as the East-West rail project, which will not be electrified and reliant on diesel instead.

He said: “It is profoundly irresponsible for the transport secretary to prioritise, in the midst of an air quality crisis, a multibillion-pound road building project that is guaranteed to put more cars on our roads spewing out toxic fumes.

“We desperately need proper investment in projects like the originally-planned electrified East-West rail route. It is a project that could have been a vital step forward towards the kind of clean, integrated sustainable mobility systems fit for the 21st century.”

On a trip to the county yesterday, Mr Taylor met Sarah Foxcroft from the Save Otmoor and retired ecology professor David Rogers in Watlington.

The Save Otmoor campaign has already been backed by more than 8,550 people, who worry the road could cut through the treasured nature reserve.

The rare wetland space comprises of 1,000 acres of nature reserve and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Mr Taylor then met Helen Marshall, the director of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Oxfordshire.

That group wants a statutory public consultation and a public inquiry into the roads plan and population growth.

As part of a report by the Government-backed National Infrastructure Commission, one million new homes are recommended as part of huge growth in the region between Oxford and Cambridge by 2050.

Mr Taylor then met the chairman of the Expressway Action Group, Peter Rutt.

That group represents 33 villages across South Oxfordshire and it has argued any road would pose difficulties for the district if it is selected.

As part of a timely intervention, South Oxfordshire District Council’s member for planning will ask his colleagues to pick its preferred route tomorrow. Felix Bloomfield will ask members to say they prefer corridor C, which will affect the north and west of Oxford.

Highways England will choose its preferred corridor, all of which pass around Oxford, this summer.

A website into the expressway was launched by Highways England last month.

On it, the agency claims that the potential road ‘will secure the future of three of the most successful and productive cities in the country, creating an environment where communities and business can thrive with economic growth and better journeys.’

Despite no public consultation being held, Highways England said it is working to ‘bring together representatives across the region to discuss [the expressway] and how it will enable sustainable development.’

Commitment was given by Government in last year’s Budget by the Chancellor Philip Hammond. The road is scheduled to open for the first time in 2030.