UPDATE: August 11th, 2019
Hello and welcome to our latest update.
We had a very useful meeting last week with Highways England, details of which you will find below.
A number of interesting things came to light, not least that everyone can sign up to be a Stakeholder. We would urge everyone to do so, as it means you will receive information from Highways England before the general public becomes fully aware (so you can get ahead with things like the public consultation), and it will show HE the degree of interest in the project. Find out how below.
Highways England also confirmed to us that that Local Councils were asked to sign NDAs and that Environmental agencies have been shut out of discussions about potential routes.
You will understand all this when you read the below update.
Email to register as a Highways England stakeholder OxfordtoCambridgeExpressway@highwaysengland.co.uk
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NEG met with Highways England’s (HE) Matt Stafford, Project Director for Ox-Cam Expressway project & members of his team on 30th July
1 - HE confirmed that anyone or group can register as a stakeholder by emailing OxfordtoCambridgeExpressway@highwaysengland.co.uk. Being a stakeholder means
HE will send any new information it is sharing, directly to you; e.g. when HE announces the timing and details of the consultation process later this year. HE has committed to sending this information to all registered stakeholders
It's also a great way of demonstrating how interested our communities, groups and individuals are.
2 - HE confirmed more information on their use of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
HE has been asking local authorities to sign NDAs so it could discuss if possible routes are “viable and buildable”. This revelation is in stark contrast to HE’s refusal even to confirm their existence in response to NEG’s Freedom of Information request!
HE said it asks Local Authorities to sign NDAs to be "responsible" about potential impact on land values
HE has not asked environmental experts, such as RSPB and BBOWT, to sign NDAs, nor has it spoken with them in confidence about potential routes.
Matt Stafford said that the submissions provided by BBOWT/RSPB early last year gave enough information to HE, so that no further follow up has been required whilst developing route options, to be announced later this year. The RSPB told NEG that it has had no contact from HE since it made its initial submission regarding preference of corridor in April 2018.
NEG’s question is - what about new information along this corridor, discovered since last year, or consideration of wildlife corridors and living landscapes? Can HE make that assessment on their own? Why not contact the experts?
More information here.
3 – HE cannot confirm dates for announcement of route options, scheduled for ‘Autumn 2019’.
HE said the project is on track, but exact dates are not yet known due to government reshuffle
HE confirmed announcement of 6/7 route options will be the start of a 10 week consultation period
You will be able to say your preference is “no expressway” by filling in “is there anything else we should know” box. More information to follow.
A very enjoyable and successful Mexican themed fundraising dinner was held in the gardens of Grove House, Beckley. Huge thanks go to José Ramón and Mantina López-Portillo for holding such a wonderful event.
Could you host a fundraising event in your village?
Awaiting HE’s follow up review of our Freedom of Information (FOI) request regarding which stakeholders have been sent NDAs and who has signed them.
Awaiting response to our FOI request for a list of all meetings with one or more stakeholders since the last known stakeholder meeting, in May 2018.
Continue to update our noexpressway.org website, add news and drive traffic to NEG page on Facebook, put up new signs and raise awareness and continue to work with local groups
Fundraising – Please donate here!
Find details of all upcoming events here!
We’re all in this together
Our countryside is being sold off behind our backs but you can help us to fight these decisions and exercise our democratic rights.
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
The No Expressway Group has a group bank account to which the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are signatories. The group will publish accounts on noexpressway.org 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.