Government investment could see major road upgraded

Hopes are high for the dualling of the A421
Hopes are high for the dualling of the A421

Government plans for a £1.4 billion investment in major road schemes could see the creation of a long-awaited dual carriageway.

Among the 18 projects in London and the south east outlined this week by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander was a feasibility study into creating an ‘expressway’between Oxford and Cambridge via Milton Keynes.

The study will look at the potential to link Oxford, north Bucks and Cambridge by making use of existing roads where possible.

Hopes are high that the plan could involve upgrading the A421 Buckingham bypass.

County councillor for Buckingham Warren Whyte, who chairs the Environment, Transport and Locality Services select committee, said he had not been able to find out any details about the plan.

But he told the Advertiser: “We certainly need to keep a close eye on that and, if appropriate, lobby for the improvement to the A421.”

Business groups Bucks Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) and Bucks Business First have welcomed the announcement.

Chief executive of BTVLP, Richard Harrington, said: “The plans announced today reinforce our strategic economic plan to support and develop transport infrastructure across Bucks.

“We are encouraged by this proposal to develop a stronger east–west transport corridor, however we would request that this project also supports linkage to Buckingham and Winslow as part of our strategy to improve north-south transport links.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: “I promised when I was in the south east that we would address this area’s economic needs for the future.

“Our Long term-economic plan means today we can invest £1.4 billion into the region’s infrastructure to improve, repair and expand our roads.

“Our plans will transform some of the country’s most important strategic routes and spending on important local infrastructure will boost productivity and help the local economy of the south east.

“For years our roads have been neglected. Now that this government is fixing the economy, we can afford to invest properly in our roads – unlocking jobs and local growth by creating a road network that is fit for the 21st century.”