Ox-Cam Expressway will provide greater options for drivers
While the 21-mile A14 upgrade continues, Highways England is progressing with plans for an 80-mile corridor that will link Cambridge to Milton Keynes and Oxford.
The focus of the project is the ‘missing link’ – finding a route for a key strategic road between Oxford and the M1. Three potential corridors are being explored for this.
On the Cambridge side of the M1, things are much more set. Project director Matt Stafford said the A14 will be made more “resilient” by the corridor.
He said: “This route will provide, in time, resilience to the A14. And what we mean by resilience is that there is an alternative route.One of the key problems for people who use the A14 now is that there is only one way in or out.
“And the A428 is problematic. Part of this project involves upgrading that section so it provides that resilience too.”
Once complete, the Ox-Cam expressway is expected to cut up to 40 minutes off journeys between the south of Oxford and Cambridge, and bring both Oxford and Cambridge within 45 minutes’ drive of Milton Keynes.
“The first step is to come up with a corridor recommendation for a decision from the secretary of state this summer,” Mr Stafford continued. “After that, the second part of stage one is developing route options within the corridor and that will then lead into a public consultation which will start in autumn 2019.”
Highways England met last week with 200 stakeholders from communites along the corridor.
“It will open up across east-west the ability for businesses to engage better and it will stimulate, we hope, economic growth and allow people to connect in a much more effective way,” said Mr Stafford. “Although it’s called the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, it’s about all the communities in between it as well.”
A corridor between Oxford and the M1 will be selected in summer 2018, followed by more analysis to develop route options.