Study into Oxbridge connectivity

first_imgHighways England has commissioned a £512,000 study to investigate building a “dedicated road link” which would run between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. The study, due for completion in autumn 2016, is one of six strategic studies commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the government’s Road Investment Strategy.An Oxford-Cambridge Expressway would likely be built through improvements on the current road network and by fi lling in the gaps within that network. A government press release noted these gaps exist “particularly between the M1 at Milton Keynes and the M40 near Oxford”.Road Minister Andrew Jones emphasised the potential economic benefi ts of the plan. “Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity… For too long they have suffered from under investment. That is why as part of our long-term economic plan we are investing a record £15 billion in our roads programme.”However, The Campaign for Better Transport opposes the plan in its current form. Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, said, “It beggars belief that the government is spending such an exorbitant amount of money on a study which only focuses on a new road building scheme.“Only in the UK do we see transport planners carry out road and rail planning independently from each other… Building big new roads is not the answer to the problem of connectivity between our towns and cities.”Clarissa Jones, a Trinity historian from Cambridge, told Cherwell, “As a student without a car you have to travel either by train, which carries with it a very high price, or on the hellish X5.“The best use of money, from my perspective, would be improvement of public transport between [Oxford and Cambridge] as opposed to road improvement.”English student at Lincoln and Cambridge resident Catriona Bolt agreed, telling Cherwell, “The very idea of a direct train line between Oxford and Cambridge turns me on. A dedicated road link would also be worse for the environment than a train link.”The DfT Road Investment Strategy highlights the possible benefits of the direct road link, outlining eight areas which the plans aim to improve. These include improving network safety, user satisfaction, and traffic flow.last_img read more