Building Oxfordshire's 'Silicon Valley'

East West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway can be a catalyst to bring the region together.

Oxfordshire County Council welcomes today's publication of the National Infrastructure Commission's interim report into the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council which co-founded England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance said:

“We strongly welcome the publication of today's interim report from the National Infrastructure Commission which acknowledges the vast economic potential of the corridor connecting Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford, comparable to Silicon Valley. We share the Commission’s view that England’s Economic Heartland is a national asset, one whose economic success is central to the future of the UK economy.

“As co-founder of England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance, Oxfordshire County Council is delighted that the Commission is encouraged by the Alliance’s work on strategic transport to date and agrees with our view that the full potential of East West Rail and the Expressway cannot be realised without investment in its wider road and rail network.

“We have long argued that East West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, can be a catalyst to bring the region together to deliver the housing that is required in the region as well as the connectivity it will need to compete with the best in the world and welcome the Commission highlighting this in their report today.

“We remain committed to taking an integrated strategic approach to transport and infrastructure planning to secure the area’s future success.”

Corridor could be Britain’s Silicon Valley

Releasing the report, National Infrastructure Commission Deputy Chair, Sir John Armitt said,

“To succeed in the global economy, the UK must build on its strengths. The corridor connecting Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford could be Britain’s Silicon Valley – a globally recognised centre for science, technology and innovation. But its future success is not guaranteed.

“Transport links across the corridor are often slow, unreliable and congested, and the area is home to two of the least affordable cities in the UK, in part because it has consistently failed to build the homes it needs. These twin problems are already increasing costs for businesses and diminishing their ability to attract employees at all levels – including the recruitment and retention of globally mobile talent.

“This area can become greater than the sum of its parts with better strategic planning which radically improves its transport connectivity whilst securing the tens of thousands of new homes it so desperately needs. This is a once in a generation opportunity – we must grab it with both hands.”