A new Oxford to Cambridge Expressway could cost up to £3.5bn, it has emerged.
As part of last week’s Autumn Statement, chancellor Philip Hammond announced ‘a commitment to deliver the new Oxford to Cambridge Expressway’, and £27m in development funding for the project.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has now published a study on the proposed scheme, which set out three shortlisted route options for an Expressway, as well as sub-options to route around Oxford, ranging between £3bn-£3.5bn.
All three options include conversion of sections of the A34, A421, A428 and A1 to Expressway standard to complete the route between the M4 and A14/M11.
A DfT spokesperson told Transport Network the £3.5bn figure was ‘speculative’, adding that the £27m would be used to take the options identified in the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway study through a detailed design and development phase, including further analysis, stakeholder engagement and environmental surveys.
The study found on the basis of initial assessment work that the benefits of all three ‘are promising enough to take them forward to the next stage of assessment’.
Last month, the road was identified by the National Infrastructure Commission as an essential part of plans to create ‘Britain’s Silicon Valley’ in the corridor connecting Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford, along with the East West Rail scheme, which also received backing and funding from Mr Hammond.
The short listed Expressway routes are via Aylesbury, the East West Rail corridor, and the existing A421 corridor.