Roads Minister Jesse Norman has signalled the ‘death nell’ on rural communities in north Oxfordshire by announcing that the central corridor B has been chosen as the preferred route for the Oxford Cambridge Expressway.
This could potentially have a significant impact on small rural parishes along the route like Wendlebury.
Wendlebury is a small village of about 180 households located close to Junction 9 of the M40 currently ‘boxed in’ on 3 sides; the M40 to the west / south, A41 to the north and the Chiltern Oxford to London railway line to the east.
Over the years, the Parish Council has strongly argued that the studies carried out by Oxfordshire County Council and its consultants in conjunction with Cherwell District Council are unsound, and do not take into account the volume and speed of traffic on the A41 on both the south- and north-bound carriageways. This has become even busier as a result of the growth of Bicester Village and the rapid expansion of the town with many new large housing developments.
It would appear that Highways England has made the same mistakes and not taken account of these issues and have been driven by the promise of economic growth.
Once again, the Parish Council sees that decisions are being made that will affect the lives and well-being of ordinary people in these rural communities, who will have to suffer increased damage from noise, air pollution and isolation together with a total disregard for the quality of life.
The Parish Council envisages a long fight ahead to preserve the values of the many village communities affected.