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Oxford to Cambridge highway plans unveiled

Oxford to Cambridge highway plans unveiled

A government report on the options for a new road link between the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge has been published.

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Strategic Study listed two options connecting Abingdon to the M40 via Oxford, one to the north of the city and one to the south.

In addition, three possible routes could link Oxford as far as Milton Keynes, beyond which it would intersect with the M1 and then cross the fens to Cambridge.

The first of these would link to the northern end of Milton Keynes via a route that would run just south of Bicester and Buckingham. Another would head south of the new town, passing just north of Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard, while the third would go straight across to Milton Keynes, arriving just south of the centre.

Whichever route is chosen, the report suggested it could bring huge economic benefits. It noted: "Due to the current lack of east-west transport connectivity, there are low levels of strategic long distance movements along the primary east-west route within the study area."

The new road is expected to trim journey times by 30 minutes, provide better access to amenities for towns and cities along the route and help open up areas for residential development.

Commenting on the scheme, transport minister John Hayes said: "We want people up and down Britain to benefit from quicker, more reliable journeys.

"Our cities and towns are the lifeblood of our economy and they, as well as our rural communities, need strong connections to thrive."

The interim report was one of three published this week, with the others focusing on improving the A1 In East Anglia and options for a road tunnel under the Pennines to connect Manchester with Sheffield.

As well as plans for a new road between Oxford and Cambridge, rail campaigners want to see the full restoration of the Varsity line, which used to link the cities but was largely dismantled in the Beeching Cuts.

Image: iStock/i-Stockr


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