Councillors in Oxfordshire have written to the Government in opposition to the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Oxfordshire County Council’s full council meeting on November 5 approved a motion by Cllr David Sanders to re-state the authority’s position on both the Expressway and East West Rail.

The motion states: “Given the inadequate response from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government to the concern of this council regarding the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, this council asks the leader to write to the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Highways England in the following terms:

“Oxfordshire County Council will work with Highways England on the development of the vision for the English Economic Heartland and the Oxford to Cambridge Arc on the understanding that they will expedite the realisation of the East West Rail Link.

“The development of the railway line will ensure the delivery of the growth and housing required, without the environmental impact of a road cutting across the centre of rural England.

“Building the Expressway flies in the face of Oxfordshire’s commitment to reduce the use of the car. An action which is necessary to tackle the Climate change emergency, which local government, including Oxfordshire, has signed up to.

“Oxfordshire does not support the building of the Expressway irrespective of which route is chosen.”

The motion was passed by 36 to 11 with eight abstentions.

Public consultation over the exact route for the Expressway was due to be held in Autumn but will now be delayed until after the General Election.

In July, both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils resolved to oppose the Expressway by writing to both local MPs and the Transport Secretary to suggest the funding of between £3 billion and £7 billion goes to cycling and public transport projects including East-West Rail, instead of the road scheme.

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