13 August 2019

More than £700m worth of road investment priorities in and around the Oxford to Cambridge Arc have been submitted to Government by regional body England's Economic Heartland.

The schemes – which include junction improvements, capacity upgrades and new relief roads - would reduce congestion and improve journey times, helping to realise the region's immense economic potential, which Government has made a national priority.

EEH's submission follows a request from Government for regions to agree their priorities for improving the Major Road Network (MRN), which comprises the country's busiest and most economically important local authority A roads.

As the Sub-national Transport Body for the region - stretching from Swindon across to Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire down to Hertfordshire – EEH worked with its local transport authority partners to agree a list of 11 priority schemes.

The schemes are:

•        Dualling Bedford Western Bypass

•        Dualling Aylesbury Eastern Link Road

•        Dualling the A10, Ely to Cambridge

•        Junction improvements on the A10, Ely to Cambridge

•        New junction at the A1139 University Centre, Peterborough

•        Junction improvements on the A10, Broxbourne

•        New access road serving Century Park (phase two), Luton

•        Dualling A505, Vauxhall Way, Luton

•        A509 Isham Bypass, Northamptonshire

•        Dualling A43 between Northampton and Kettering (phase three)

•        A5 Towcester Relief Road

Mayor Dave Hodgson, Chair of EEH's Strategic Transport Forum - which meets in public and includes elected leaders and cabinet members from authorities across the region - said: "The economic performance of our region is consistently above the national standard but our success brings with it pressures on our transport infrastructure, resulting in disruption, unreliability and pollution. This programme of investment is a critical first step towards enabling the Heartland's potential to be realised on a global scale. 

"The schemes we're promoting have undergone a rigorous process to ensure they deliver for the region's residents, businesses and environment. Individually and collectively, they will accelerate economic growth and support our communities."

To qualify for funding, schemes have to be deliverable by 2025. Other schemes which may be at a less advanced stage of planning can be considered for inclusion in the next funding period from 2025 to 2030.  Government is expected to announce its funding decisions later this year.

Last month EEH launched its Outline Transport Strategy, kick-starting a wide-ranging debate on the future of the region's transport system.

Views are being sought from people and organisations across the region about how the transport system can help them realise their potential, while also securing environmental 'net gain' and improving residents' quality of life.

More information on the MRN schemes