Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has today tabled a motion in Parliament calling for “comprehensive public consultation on plans for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway” which must include the option of not progressing with the scheme.
Moran, who has campaigned consistently in opposition to plans for the highway, said residents are “impatient and disillusioned” by the fact that the long-promised public consultation has still not materialised.
The motion, tabled today for publication tomorrow, also calls for the consultation to consider alternatives to the Expressway, such as “the expansion and electrification of the Oxford to Cambridge rail link as well as the Reading to Oxford line”, and “greater investment in cycling infrastructure”.
Commenting, Moran said:
“I felt compelled to table this motion because this public consultation on the Expressway still hasn’t happened. My constituents are impatient and disillusioned. They deserve better.
“What we need is a full and comprehensive public consultation now, and it needs to include options of alternatives to the scheme. But most importantly, it must include the option of not progressing with the scheme at all.
“If this Government is genuine about cutting carbon emissions, why on earth are they determined to continue with a policy of increased road capacity when all the evidence, including their own, shows that it will simply lead to more car and lorry traffic?
“Let’s look instead at the East-West rail link, the electrification of rail between Reading and Oxford, and more investment in cycling infrastructure. We can do so much better than this Government’s flawed approach that will blight the lives of residents and damage our local environment.”
The full text of the motion is as follows:
That this House calls for a comprehensive public consultation on plans for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway; calls for this consultation to include the option of not progressing with the scheme as well as assessments of alternatives to the scheme, including greater investment in cycling infrastructure and the expansion and electrification of the Oxford to Cambridge rail link as well as the Reading to Oxford line; recognises that some improvements to the A34 cannot happen whilst the Expressway project remains a possibility; and urges Highways England and the Government to publish a thorough environmental impact assessment as a matter of urgency.