Statement on preferred corridor for expressway

Cllr Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said “Whilst we welcome Government’s commitment to funding infrastructure that is essential to meet the Government’s ambitious housing targets for the Oxford to Cambridge corridor, we are very disappointed that our preference for a southern option has not been selected as the preferred corridor for the expressway.

“This would have helped link existing communities, towns and growth areas in Buckinghamshire with economic centres in the region . It would also have provided much needed bypasses for Wing and Aylesbury. We are also concerned at the potential environmental impact of the chosen route as it passes so many extremely sensitive and beautiful areas of the county.

“It is important that the government now engages with local people in the next stage of consultation on the actual route and not just ‘stakeholders’. We feel their exclusion from consultation on the corridor options was a mistake.

“It is vital that the expressway brings real economic benefits to the residents and communities along the route. We are scarred by the experience of HS2 with communities being ‘done to’, not ‘worked with’, and this must not be repeated. The County Council will work closely with our partners in the district councils to get the very best outcome possible for Bucks’ people and businesses.

“In addition, England’s Economic Heartland is commissioning a ‘connectivity study’ examining how communities not on the expressway itself can still benefit from it – clearly this work will have important implications for places such as Aylesbury and Princes Risborough, which are seeing significant levels of housing growth.”