Government announcements on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme and Oxford Station have been welcomed by the Chair of England’s Economic Heartland – as he reiterated the key role the region has in boosting the wider UK economy.
On Thursday, the Secretary of State for Transport granted development consent for National Highways to begin work on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme, which will tackle a key congestion hotspot in the region. A day earlier, the government announced the full £161 million investment to deliver improvements at Oxford Station that will result in quicker journeys and increased capacity for passenger and freight services through the Oxford area.
Cllr Richard Wenham, Chair of England’s Economic Heartland said: “I welcome the government’s commitment on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet and Oxford Station upgrades, the delivery of which are priorities in our regional transport strategy.
“Despite historic underinvestment in our region’s infrastructure, our world leading innovation clusters, home to globally renowned businesses and universities, are critical assets in ensuring the country’s future economic success. This morning, on Radio 4’s Today programme, the editor of The Economist highlighted the significance of the ‘Oxford-Cambridge-London triangle’ to ‘help the whole of Britain’ and boost UK economic growth. We can only do this if the challenges facing our region can be addressed.
“Delivery of the upgrades to the A428 and Oxford Station are part of the jigsaw in addressing those challenges. To realise the region’s potential, further commitments from the government are required. This includes delivering East West Rail to Bedford, Cambridge and Aylesbury. East West Rail is the region’s flagship transport scheme, but its benefits go far beyond improved journey times and modal shift. It will transform our region’s economy, connecting businesses with skills, driving innovation and productivity and encouraging inward investment from abroad.
“Our message to the incoming prime minister and the government is clear: while further investment in the region is required, the return on that investment for UK Plc is significant and presents a major opportunity to boost UK prosperity and its competitiveness on the global stage.”