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Oxford-Cambridge expressway: the real costs, and the dubious benefits

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Highways England’s own analysis of the Expressway shows a benefit:cost ratio (BCR) in the range of 1.1 – 1.3, far lower than most other road schemes analysed by the Department for Transport in 2015, ( 2:1). The majority of benefits identified result from faster journeys. Any additional traffic  generated by the proposed development will slow down journeys and reduce this benefit.

The cost assumptions for the Expressway are consistently on the low end of the scale.  A Highways England review revealed that average costs of smaller road schemes were approximately one third higher than originally forecast. This would eliminate any economic benefit of the Expressway. In other words, on a purely financial basis, the Expressway isn’t worth building.

David Rogers says: ‘Time and again in Expressway reports the likely damage to the environment is acknowledged, but then ignored.  The only way to mitigate the environmental impact of the expressway is not to build it in the first place.’

 

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