Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor
4.65 The corridor between Cambridge and Oxford has the potential to be a globally
signifcant economy. Following the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, the Budget sets out an ambitious integrated programme of infrastructure, housing, business investment and development.
4.66 Housing – The government recognises the need, highlighted by the NIC’s report, to build up to 1 million new homes in the area by 2050 to maximise its economic potential, starting with a housing deal with Oxfordshire for 100,000 homes by 2031, and working with Central and Eastern sections on commitments in 2018. The government will also consider significant new settlements and the potential role of development corporations to deliver these using private finance.
4.67 Rail – By 2024 the western section of East West Rail will be complete, allowing services between Oxford and Bedford, and Aylesbury and Milton Keynes. A new East West RailCompany is being established to accelerate delivery of the central section between Bedford and Cambridge, aiming for completion by the mid-2020s and leveraging private sector investment.
Working in partnership with local stakeholders, the government is committing £5 million to develop proposals for Cambridge South station, and is starting a study on the enhancements needed to accommodate future rail growth across Cambridgeshire. As a first step towards opening a station at Cowley, the government will also make available £300,000 to co-fund a study of opportunities for new stations, services and routes across the Oxfordshire rail corridor. (28)
4.68 Road – Construction will begin on key elements of the Expressway between Cambridge and Oxford in the second Roads Investment Strategy. The government will also accelerate work on the ‘missing link’ elements of the Expressway so that it is ready to open by 2030. The government is commissioning England’s Economic Heartland to analyse how communities not on the route of the ‘missing link’ will be able to beneft from it. 55
4.69 Land value uplift – The government expects authorities and delivery bodies in the
Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor to use existing mechanisms of land value capture and the new powers (subject to consultation) announced at the Budget to capture rising land values from the additional public investment. The government will also encourage authorities to explore the introduction of a Strategic Infrastructure Tariff, in addition to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), supported by appropriate governance arrangements. These approaches will require developers to baseline their contributions towards infrastructure into the values they pay for land.
4.70 Governance – The government is setting out its vision for the future, and inviting local partners to contribute. The government has agreed with Oxfordshire that it will work toward the adoption of a new joint statutory plan (JSP), and will seek further JSPs in central and eastern sections.