NEWS: MK Citizen July 18th, 2019

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Are local politicians finally seeing the light?

Today the MK Citizen reports that Milton Keynes Council downgrades its support for road that could "cut Milton Keynes communities in half".

Previously strong supporters of the expressway, Milton Keynes Council now want greater environmental protection and increased investment in public transport.

All this is just a few days after Cllr Paul Irwin, from Bucks CC and AVDC told more than 280 attendees at the Marsh Gibbon Village meeting that Bucks CC and AVDC “are going to come out against the expressway.”

So are local politicians beginning to see that you can’t build an expressway and 1 million new homes when we have a climate emergency? We hope they are ! Let’s keep the pressure up to stop these plans altogether.

The MK Citizen reports that “A council has downgraded its support for a new road that it is feared could cut communities in half.

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway has previously been strongly supported by Milton Keynes Council as a road that could help the borough’s economic growth.

Now, at a Delegated Decisions meeting at the council on Tuesday, an MK Council Cabinet member decided to move to supporting the scheme only IF steps are taken to soften the impact on the environment.

Council officers have signed a non-disclosure agreement giving them access to the Highways Agency plans, and the chance to influence them.

Cabinet member for transport and planning, Labour’s Cllr Martin Gowans, told the meeting that he did not know what the options for the route are. He emphasised that the final decision is with the Government, and not the council.

Cllr David Hopkins (Cons, Danesborough & Walton) said that by looking at a map of Milton Keynes, places including Wavendon, Bow Brickhill, and Woburn Sands could be in the line of fire of a route from Oxford to Bedford.

“If that comes about there will be tremendous opposition,” said Cllr Hopkins. “It would cut communities in half. Unless there is tunelling, the impacts will be absolutely enormous.

“It would be the biggest political situation in my 30 years on the council.”

He added that support for the new road would undermine the case for re-opening the East-West Railway and turn it into a “white elephant”.

Alan Francis, of the MK Green Party, warned that support for the new road undermined the council’s position on climate change, its sustainability strategy, and the ambition to be the greenest city in the UK.

“Support takes us in the wrong direction,” he said. “This is downgrading support but I still think it is too supportive. Supporting this road is not consistent with the climate emergency. I would like to see you change the position to opposition.”

Cllr Gowans said some important points had been made but he was “not quite at the point of opposing it yet.”

“There are many unknowns and there is still time for change, the Government will decide.”

In confirming his decision to downgrade support he added a condition that the East-West Rail project should be electrified. Other conditions involve environmental mitigation, and public transport and cycling improvements.”

You can see the original article here.

We need your help

No Expressway Group believes there is no need for an Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, nor the over-inflated housing targets associated with it, and we will actively campaign against it and support other organisations with the same objectives. 

Our environment is a national asset which is critical for everyone’s health and well-being. We must not let it be destroyed.

Your donations help us to spread information about the Expressway, run and build support for the campaign:

  • £10 could pay for one roadside Correx poster

  • £15 could pay for one roadside poster on a wooden stake

  • £20 could pay for one A1 printed colour poster for our pagoda display

  • £35 could pay for 250 A5 printed leaflets for the campaign

  • £70 could pay for one pole and two panels for our travelling pagoda display

  • £150 could pay for one feather flag for our travelling pagoda

  • £180 could pay to run this website for one year

  • £300 could pay for a 3 minutes of an Expressway Story

  • £500 could pay for a 5 minutes of an Expressway Story

  • A greater or other amount could contribute to the cost of professional support for our campaign in general and in preparation for Planning Inspectorate hearings

Please note:

The No Expressway Group has a group bank account to which the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are signatories. The group will publish accounts on each year which will be audited by an accountant from outside the NEG group.

If any funds are left at the end of the campaign, these will be donated equally between RSPB and BBOWT.