At the November Parish Council meeting councillors discussed a proposed expressway between Oxford and Cambridge currently under consideration by the National Infrastructure Commission and Highways England.
One of the possible routes for the road would leave the A34 south of Abingdon and run through green belt and our local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), potentially quite close to Blewbury.
We were assured at the meeting by our County Councillor – who didn’t have as much information as we would have liked as this seems to be a ‘higher level’ infrastructure project – that the road is still in the conceptual planning stage, and that we will be consulted in due course.
However, instead of waiting for the preferred route to be presented to us, Blewbury PC has decided to find out as much as possible about the routes under consideration. We have also joined an action group of parish councils who are building a case against an expressway through south Oxfordshire’s green belt and AONB. The Expressway Action Group (EAG) is particularly keen to hear from anyone with contacts in the BBC’s wildlife or Countryfile team – please contact the Parish Clerk if you can help.
In the meantime, we have agreed the following statement of support for the EAG, and will keep you updated as soon as we have more information: ‘Blewbury Parish Council agrees to support the Expressway Action Group in its campaign against any plan to build the Oxford Cambridge Expressway through rural areas of South Oxfordshire.’
The schematic above is taken from the Government’s Strategic Study Stage 3 report, published in November last year. A version of it also appears in the the National Infrastructure Commission’s latest report, published on November 17 2017, which can be accessed here.
Various local bodies have interpreted this schematic in different ways: for the views of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, click here. For the views of the Vale of White Horse District Council, click here and read pages 28-34.