Since her election in 2010, Nicola has campaigned hard for improvements to the A34. She knows this is one of the top issues for her constituents, and the A34 causes daily misery for families and commuters.
Nicola has worked tirelessly with our local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnership, Highways England and other colleagues to make sure the A34 stays at the top of the agenda and has brought successive Transport Ministers to see for themselves congestion along the route and urge leaders to not only find a long term solution for the road but also to put their money where their mouths are.
Since 2010 Nicola has secured improvements to the following pinch-point junctions: Chiltern Interchange, Milton roundabout, Junction 9 of the M40, Marcham junction, Kennington roundabout, and road signage improvements along the route.
And she hasn’t stopped there: Nicola met directly with the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of key budget deadlines to ensure further funding was secured for the Botley and Peartree junctions. The Government have committed £50 million for this, along with a Technology Management System designed to give drivers early warning of congestion. Nicola is pushing to ensure we see these improvements brought forward as soon as possible.
Crucially, Nicola is campaigning for a full diamond interchange at the Lodge Hill junction. Almost £10 million funding has been confirmed through the Government’s Local Growth Fund, backed by Oxfordshire County Council and the LEP, and so Nicola is working hard to make sure the final pieces of the puzzle come together to make this a reality.
In lobbying the Chancellor directly, Nicola and her fellow Oxfordshire MP’s have successfully made the case for investment in the A34 as a ‘transformational transport link’ of national importance.
The Government has announced £27 million to fund the development of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, which will better link Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, incorporating A34 improvements, and options are now being explored through the National Infrastructure Commission to divrert through-traffic away from the Oxford ring road and in turn cut congestion on the A34.
Nicola is working closely with Highways England and the Department for Transport to ensure the A34 is a priority as planning for this strategy progresses.
We also await the final outcome of the Safety Review, examining both long and short term options for the A34.
Ultimately, Interim measures, like junction improvements the traffic management system are essential to manage the current situation but without a long-term capacity solution Nicola knows central Oxfordshire will simply grind to a halt. Investment on the A34 is now more important than ever.
*** UPDATE DECEMBER 2016***
Nicola’s campaign with fellow Oxfordshire MPs is moving forwards, boosted by the Autumn Statement announcement of £27 million for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway as recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission.
Nicola met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to push for urgent investment in the Oxford area as part of the Expressway, and is holding Ministers’ as well as Highways England’s feet to the fire with regards to previous commitments to invest in pinch point junctions.
The Chancellor has assured Nicola he will be liaising with the National Infrastructure Commission about the need to invest in Oxfordshire as an urgent priority in bringing forward the Expressway. He sees the route as a ‘transformational tech corridor’, and Highways England are also supporting Nicola in calling for the delivery of Oxford improvements first which would enable earlier delivery of the A34 capacity enhancements.
This, coupled with the new Safety Review, is real progress for the campaign for A34 and Nicola is not letting the pressure drop.
*** UPDATE OCTOBER 2016***
Nicola has teamed up with Richard Benyon MP and Ed Vaizey MP in her campaign for much needed investment on the A34. They are also working with the A34 Action Group to develop a joined up approach with local residents as well as businesses, and discuss solutions to the challenges facing the A34.
While we are waiting for the conclusions of the Feasibility Study which is looking at the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, Nicola is clear we need urgent improvements to the road to put an end to the string of serious incidents we are seeing at the moment. The A34 is operating over capacity and is constraining economic growth; causing daily misery for families and commuters.
The next step will be a meeting with the Roads Minister in November to make this case and present findings.
***UPDATE APRIL 2016***
Nicola has been keeping up the pressure on both the Department for Transport and the Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure we get timely improvements to the A34. She has met with Roads Minister, Andrew Jones MP, to discuss a recent spate of accidents along the A34 and push for a suitable timetable for improvements.
Details are still being agreed and no one wants the works to clash with other planned improvements, on the A40 for example, but these works will go ahead.
Nicola has also been in touch with Lord Adonis who is leading the National Infrastructure Commission’s inquiry examining links between Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes. Lord Adonis has spoken of the extraordinary potential of Oxford and shares the local consensus that problems created by historic under-investment in housing and transport infrastructure are holding the region back.
Green Light for Diamond Junction at Lodge Hill
After years of campaigning, Nicola has secured improvements to the Lodge Hill junction as the Oxfordshire Growth Deal is expanded. Nicola joined the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP to announce a £9.9 million extension to the Oxfordshire Growth Deal. In total £118.4 will be invested in Oxfordshire’s economy.
A diamond interchange at Lodge Hill will relieve major congestion in Abingdon and along the route of the A34, and taken with the £50m improvements to the Botley and Peartree Junctions announced in the Autumn Statement, it means Nicola has now succeeded in securing funding to upgrade every major A34 junction in her constituency.
This is a huge relief for Abingdon residents who live with daily traffic misery caused by the A34, and Nicola will continue to work to ensure a comprehensive long-term solution is found. She recently met with Transport Minster John Hayes MP to keep the pressure and ensure a reasonable time-table for the essential Feasibility Study.
Chancellor George Osborne MP has announced £50 million in funding for the A34, including key pinch point junctions at Botley and Pear Tree. The funding will be used to change the approach to the junctions, improve signage and deliver better, anti-skid surfacing.
Meanwhile, the LEP is developing proposals for the Lodge Hill junction, to be prepared as part of its bid for the Local Growth Fund.
This long awaited funding will provide for technology upgrades along the route, including driver information signals, and a long term Feasibility Study to determine thefuture of the road.
I will not stop campaigning until that long term solution is signed, sealed and delivered.
TAKE ACTION SIGN NICOLA’S A34 PETITION
Anyone who lives in Oxfordshire knows that the A34 is at capacity and the daily congestion is not only causing misery for families and commuters but is also acting as a barrier to local growth. That is why I am campaigning hard for improvements at Lodge Hill, Botley and Peartree and for more hard shoulders and lay-bys to be urgently considered for safety reasons.
Recent studies, including the influential ‘Oxfordshire Innovation Engine’, have found that our businesses lose vital productive hours sitting in traffic and that this lack of connectivity not only prevents existing Oxfordshire businesses expanding along the A34 but also puts new businesses off starting up here.
I have campaigned hard for A34 investment. Thousands of local residents have signed my petition and since the campaign launched, the Transport Minister has been to see the problem first hand, I have repeatedly discussed the problems with Ministers in Westminster and in Oxford, I challenged the Treasury to commit to investment and led a delegation to the Department for Transport lobby the Secretary of State.
So far, millions of pounds of improvements have already been approved and over the summer these went ahead at Hinksey Hill, J9, the Milton Interchange and the Chiltern Slips. In addition, the Department of Transport have committed to implementing a Route Based Strategy for whole length of the A34 as part of the 2015-2020 Transport Budget. We now need to ensure that these proposals will be targeted at making a difference for residents of Central Oxfordshire and will focus on the key bottleneck junctions of Lodge Hill, Botley and Peartree.
Sign up to support my campaign for further improvements to the A34, including a full diamond junction at Lodge Hill in Abingdon. With your support we can make it happen!
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