Nicola has brought Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to Abingdon to hear directly from businesses and local infrastructure expects about just why investment on the A34 is so crucial.
The Chancellor visited Abingdon and Witney College with Nicola to see the new STEM Centre which is training the younger generation in key vocations and he chatted to apprentices about the opportunities the College provides. Earlier this month the College achieved an Outstanding rating for their Apprenticeship Programme, and so Nicola and the Chancellor took the chance to congratulate Principal Di Bachelor and the students.
The College then kindly hosted a high level roundtable on the need for urgent investment in the A34. The meeting was attended by representatives from Oxfordshire County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as business representatives from across the County including UKAEA, Diamond Light Source, High Tech companies from Culham and Begbroke Science Parks, and the University of Oxford Department of Engineering, all of whom came together to send the message loud and clear to the Treasury that the A34 is a National Priority Route in need of a long term solution to its chronic congestion.
Business and families have welcomed the improvements secured by Nicola so far, £50 million for junction improvements at key pinchpoint junctions as well as £27 million to kick start the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, and so now the task ahead is to make sure additional improvements are delivered along with this crucial long term solution.
After the roundtable, Nicola and the Chancellor visited Abingdon Town Centre to chat to local small business owners and present the winner and runner up awards for Nicola’s annual #ShopLocal Campaign to much-loved local businesses Crumbs and GalaxyTechno.
Nicola says: Our area needs better infrastructure – roads, schools, houses – to support the great new jobs being created locally and ensure Oxford West and Abingdon remains one of the best places in the country to live. That’s why I’m campaigning for a long term solution to the A34 and why I’ll keep knocking on the Chancellor’s door until the investment we need is signed, sealed and delivered.