IN NOVEMBER Transport Secretary Chris Grayling invited proposals to reopen railway stations and lines closed in the 1960s. But he offered no funding!

Network Rail owes £35bn.

Grayling’s Government has axed council budgets. The Government, backed by Labour and Lib Dems, is wasting £56bn on HS2.

Chiltern Railway wants to reinstate Cowley – Oxford trains by 2021. But will the Government let Network Rail enlarge Oxford station and modernise its signalling in time?

The Government has delayed building East West Rail (EWR) from Bicester to Bletchley. It was meant to reopen in 2017. Now it will not start until 2019. The completion date is 2024.

EWR is finalising its choice of route from Bletchley to Cambridge. But the Government – backed by Oxford City Council – now wants a Newbury-OxfordCambridge ‘Expressway’ road too.

Just the Oxford-Milton Keynes section of that road would cost up to £3.5bn. Highways England is spending £27m on a feasibility study. In Autumn 2019 it will say what route it recommends between Oxford and Milton Keynes.

EWR will be a 100mph railway.

Why build a 70mph road to compete with it? In November Andrew Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, tweeted that less freight should go by rail and more should go by road. He wants convoys of HGVs, presumably computer-driven, on main roads.

From Cambridge both EWR and the Expressway point east to Felixstowe, Britain’s busiest freight port. Adonis wants the Expressway to carry convoys of HGVs!


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