About the scheme

Find out more about the Oxford to Cambridge expressway

Oxford to Cambridge expressway - about the scheme

As part of the Government’s first Road Investment Strategy, Highways England were asked to explore the case for a  high-quality road link to better connect Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. This included looking at the potential for a new road link between Oxford and Milton Keynes, to fill a 30-mile gap in the Strategic Road Network. 

Since 2017, we have undertaken detailed and thorough assessments and engaged with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders to gather information and understand their views on our proposals.

In 2018, we completed our analysis of the suitability of a number of different geographic corridors in which the new road link could be routed. We prepared a Corridor Assessment Report and presented our work to the Government for review.

In late 2018, the Government announced the preferred corridor. We published details of the work to date and carried out further engagement with stakeholders across the region to gather information.

Throughout 2019, we undertook further detailed analysis of the area to develop potential route options for the new road link within the preferred corridor. We continued to engage with stakeholders on our work to consider their views. We also assessed the costs and benefits of each option and presented all of our findings to the Department for Transport. In March 2020, having reviewed our detailed findings and recommendations, the Government paused the project.

During the pause, the Department for Transport further considered our findings and its approach to identifying where investment in the road network, alongside other transport investment, may be needed in Oxford to Milton Keynes corridor. 

The information we provided to the Government informed its decision that the Expressway project should be cancelled, and this decision was taken in March 2021.

What happens next?

Although our work has identified that options to provide a new high-quality road link between Oxford and Milton Keynes do not provide sufficient value for money, it has provided us with a good understanding of the area.

We have learned lots of useful information about the Oxford to Cambridge Arc, which will help us in delivering improvements to the road network in the future. We have an in-depth appreciation and understanding of the area and its environment.  Through our engagement with local authorities and other stakeholders, we have learned what is important to them and their communities.

The Government is now working with us, local partners and England’s Economic Heartland as the Sub-national Transport Body, to assess the necessary road improvements alongside other transport investment that could provide benefits to residents and businesses.  

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