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Jacobs wins £15M Oxbridge expressway deal

Oxford to Cambridge expressway

Jacobs has won a £15M Highways England contract to develop solutions for the long awaited 150km Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project.

The two year project will focus on development of the corridor between the M1 and M40 motorways and identify corridor and route options.

Transport links between the two cities are currently poor, with congestion on the roads and no direct rail link.

An interim report into the overall needs of the corridor, commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), was published in November last year. The report said that to succeed in the global economy, Britain must build on its strengths, saying that the corridor connecting the cities could become the UK’s Silicon Valley – a world renowned centre for science, technology and innovation.

It warned that its future success was not guaranteed and a “joined up plan” for housing and transport connectivity was needed.

A strategic study into the challenges surrounding the new road was published by the Department for Transport in August last year. It found the new link could improve journey times by up to 30 minutes along the length of the route, and support economic growth in the towns and cities on the expressway.

“This is undoubtedly a critical transport link in the national infrastructure to support the continued economic development of one of the most significant growth corridors in the UK,” said Jacobs buildings and infrastructure senior vice president Bob Duff.

“Having worked closely with Highways England on the first section of the proposed expressway program, we look forward to integrating this experience with our proven transportation capabilities to deliver practical, strategic solutions.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Philip Alexander

    I wish Jacobs well in its commission and hope something actually gets built. However, my scepticism knows no bounds. When I joined the new Halcrow office in Swindon in 1976, one of the studies underway at the time was the Swindon-Oxford-Milton Keynes (SOMK) route study which was seen at the time as a priority by the Department of Transport office in Bedford. Now, only 41 years later, there's to be yet another study to establish if it's worth upgrading only part of this important cross country route. Forgive me if I feel just slightly cynical at the pathetic leadership shown by the national highway authorities and government departments in the UK over the last 40 years. Their performance during that time is a perfect Yes Minister example of promises and studies taking the place of real action and progress.

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