Labour likely to scrap Oxford-Cambridge road link in election manifesto


Labour likely to scrap Oxford-Cambridge road link in election manifesto


Cars stuck in traffic

NOVEMBER 2019

Labour are expected to scrap plans for the Oxford to Cambridge expressway in their upcoming manifesto, focusing instead on creating a new direct rail line and an A428 upgrade.

The policy is likely to be well received in Oxfordshire, where environmental group Campaign to Protect Rural England have been vocal in their criticisms of the proposed route, which would pass through protected green belt land.

There have also been concerns from the RSPB that building the route would be "incompatible" with reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, former shadow transport minister Daniel Zeichner, told Cambridgeshire Live that he was "nervous" about supporting the plans at the last election.

Now, he is hopeful that the party's upcoming manifesto (expected to be released next week) will commit to scrapping the road link, to prioritise new rail links and infrastructure upgrades closer to home.

He told Cambridgeshire Live: "Labour strongly supports East West Rail but are likely to cancel the proposed super-highway Road scheme. The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway plans have been controversial for quite a while; although in Cambridge we agree with upgrading the A428 between the black cat roundabout and Caxton Gibbet to reduce congestion for commuters, we would prefer improvements to the existing network rather than a huge new road.

"Over in Oxford, the expressway has been very unpopular, as it would involve building a link over recognised areas of natural beauty. The Chief Exec Of Regional Transport body England’s Economic Heartland has said that the expressway is a 20th century solution to a 21st century challenge, as it would lead to more congested roads and air pollution. So while we will continue to support upgrading the A428 upgrade to Caxton, I don't think Labour will support the Expressway as a mass road-building project."

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