High Court rejects Wildlife Trust's objection to Oxford to Cambridge Expressway route

Expressway route
Expressway route

The High Court has refused permission for Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust’s (BBOWT) claim against the Government regarding the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

The High Court has refused permission for Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust’s (BBOWT) claim against the Government regarding the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

In September last year it was revealed that the chosen route for the 30-mile route connecting the M40 to the M1 will would be 'corridor B' which runs south of Oxford and through Winslow.

In response to the High Court decision, Matthew Stanton, Head of Planning, Policy and Advocacy, at Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, said: “We do not regard this as the end of the legal process, and we will apply for the court to revisit this decision at an oral hearing. We are resolute in our determination to protect wildlife from the impact of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

“A Strategic Environmental Assessment is required under European law for schemes that impact on the environment such as this. This means the true environmental impact has not been properly considered, and the public has been denied the opportunity to fully scrutinise the implications of the scheme.

“The government has committed to leave the environment in a better state than they found it, but it is unclear how the Expressway and its potential impact on protected habitats is compatible with this ambition.”

The leader of Buckinghamshire County Council Martin Tett communicated his disappointment in September that the southern-most option was not chosen, believing that to have been the most beneficial to the region, and he added:

“We are also concerned at the potential environmental impact of the chosen route as it passes so many extremely sensitive and beautiful areas of the county.”

In their report released on Wednesday 12 September, Highways England stated:

“We are committed to finding solutions that have the least impact and avoid, minimise or mitigate the impact on the natural environment.”