UPDATE: March 8th, 2019

What’s new?

  • NAME CHANGE – our group is changing its name to the No Expressway Group, to more accurately reflect what we are about and the membership of our group.  We started in Horton-cum-Studley, but now also have members from Beckley, Stanton St John, Charlton-on-Otmoor and Forest Hill.

  • John Howell MP’s comments in the March Four Parish Newsletter suggest we are not at risk from the proposed Expressway and that routes will not go across Otmoor.  We have now seen the letter from Jesse Norman MP (Minister of State for the Dept of Transport) to John Howell MP regarding the Expressway, stating that "Otmoor will not be considered further in the route design process."  He reiterates the government's desire to protect the Otmoor Nature Reserve and its immediate surroundings, however, it does not reduce the risks we’ve previously stated and continue to campaign about:

  1. Highways England Corridor Assessment Reports refers the southern route having a new M40 junction between Arncott and Boarstall.  A huge risk of “rat run” traffic to Oxford, which would significantly damage the Otmoor/Bernwood ecosystem and our communities

  2. Over inflated housing growth targets, which would more than double housing stock in Oxfordshire

  3. Highways England have always said their preferred Corridor B map is “indicative only” and the route could go outside these boundaries.

  • A total of 8 Parish Councils so far have confirmed they want some of our new “Under Threat, No Expressway” signs to be put up in their villages and all are very kindly contributing to the cost.

  • Consultation on the Oxfordshire Plan to 2050 is open until 25th March.  This is also known as the “JSSP”.  The plan covers the period from 2031/36 (when the current round of Local Plans ends) to 2050. You can read the plan and give feedback here:  https://oxfordshireplan.inconsult.uk/consult.ti

  • At the No Expressway Alliance AGM Sarah Foxcroft was elected to represent Otmoor and Terry Pollard the founder of North Otmoor No Expressway (NONE) group and NEG member was elected to lead campaigns.

  • We’ve just heard from Highways England regarding how the HE programme plans and NSIPs fit together – It’s very clear that our District and County Councillors have a pivotal role in this process. (Details to follow)

  • So, the time is now – to ensure our Parish, District and County councillors and MP’s are contributing to HE’s processes and reflect our views, concerns and local knowledge in this process.  It is critical our voices heard now.  District and County Councillor and MP Contact details are provided below.

 What’s next?

  • Continue to put up new signs & raise awareness locally and with other groups

  • “The enclosure of Otmoor & the Otmoor riots”, talk by Nigel Lambert. 7pm, 25th March, St Andrew’s Church, Oddington

  • John Howell meeting for Parish Councillors only in the Millenium Hall at 7pm. on Thursday 28th March.

  • NEA conference for all who’re interested, Saturday 30th March, Bicester.

  • 2nd April Oxfordshire County Council – there will be a motion on the Expressway.  Time to lobby your County Councillor to ensure they know your views!

Cat Woodupdate, march