The Choice of the Final Western Route for Ox Cam Expressway Should be Devolved to the Oxfordshire JSP – The Project will Fail Otherwise @kitmalthouse

Highways England is in danger of creating 2 years of blight across a 30 km wide corridor in Middle England, potentially derailing the whole corridor project a it, necessarily, becomes the focus for opposition.

This is potentially a cluster*** you can she coming years in advance.

The Romans never built roads to nowhere, straight lines yes but between their towns and Garrisons set up in strategic positions.  We are now faced with a chicken and egg position of delaying the Oxfordshire Joint Strategic Plan and choice of strategic growth locations consultation till 2020.

This is unnecessary.  Why not consult on ‘realistic options’ (as required by law, on the expressway route western section and strategic growth locations AT THE SAME TIME.  What a radical silo bust thought.

The route south of Oxford, if effectively would support growth at Grenoble, Hadenham/Thame and Culham, North might notionally support growth any Begbrooke/Yarnton but a southern route would take a lot of traffic off the A34.  In any event IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIGHWAYS ENGLAND TO MODEL ANY IMPACTS WITHOUT ADDING TRAFFIC ASSESSMENT UNITS TO THEIR MODEL WHICH INCLUDE THE PREDICTED LOCATION AND SCALE OF GROWTH.

What is more or the first time and place there will be an ‘Administrative Process’ for the Corridor, in that the NPPF (and new NPPG as set out yesterday) set one down for JSP strategic policies.  As such the Highways Agency will likley face multiple legal challenges if they dont do an SEA of the New Town/Garden Communities options and Route options together if they merely assume the growth options (prior to any consultation) in their two models.

If you can see an omishambles coming – time for transport and planning ministers to speak to each other.

Devolve the decision.  It will be a tough one, the leader of Oxfordshire CC and South Oxfordshire are die in the ditch over the route, but in a tough decision like this it if far better the flack is taken locally.  The condition, if they dont take it within 12 months they should lose ALL government growth and housing funding. 

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