Ahead of a crucial meeting with the Roads Minister next month, Nicola was joined by Newbury MP Richard Benyon and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey to meet with the A34 Action Group. All three MPs are committed to campaigning for improvements on the A34 which runs through their constituencies, and are leading a joint approach with residents and businesses to make their case.
Nicola has secured improvements to the sections of the route running through Oxfordshire, including at the Botley, Hinkey and Pear Tree junctions, and she is pushing for longer term solutions alongside much needed investment at the Lodge Hill interchange. Following Nicola’s efforts to lobby successive Transport Ministers and the former Chancellor, the Government commissioned a full Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Feasibility Study the first part of which was recently published. It has shown how the current performance of the A34 is constraining housing and economic growth, going further to say that there is a ‘strong case for investigating interventions which could improve the performance of the corridor as an essential link for regional connectivity and economic growth’. To see the full report, click here.
The next part of Feasibility Study will look at specific recommendations to improve the problems it accurately identifies. We must ensure this is brought forward in a timely manner, and all parties agree that funding must be targeted so as to deliver tangible outcomes. The MPs have agreed to make this case jointly to the Roads Minister.
At the meeting, A34 Action Group members discussed their concerns for safety on the A34 and the need for not just long term measures but also immediate solutions to the challenges of the A34, which has seen a disproportionate amount of accidents of late. Attendees agreed to make the case to Highways England and to the relevant local authorities, such as Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). In this way all decision makers will be aware of the urgent need for improvements, and locals can have input in to possible solutions.
Clearly, accidents and delays on the A34 disrupt not only families and commuters but also businesses. The group have agreed to work closely with concerned businesses and present these concerns to the Department for Transport. The next step will be to meet with the Minister in the House of Commons.
To see more about Nicola’s campaign on this click here.
Nicola says: After nearly missing this important meeting due to traffic on the A34, it was essential that we sat down to agree a joint approach with locals and businesses. Working with the A34 Action Group and businesses enables us to draw on a wealth of expertise to ensure the Government delivers on previous commitments and finds solutions to the capacity issues highlighted in the Feasibility Study.
If we do not address the long standing issues on the A34, our infrastructure will simply not be able to cope with forecast population growth and families and businesses will continue to be caught up in daily traffic.