A new all-party parliamentary group has been launched to promote major transport schemes in ‘the UK’s answer to Silicon Valley’, including the Oxford to Cambridge expressway.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Corridor aims to promote the corridor on a cross-party basis, working closely with local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and businesses.
Key priorities include East West Rail and the Oxford to Cambridge expressway.
The group is chaired by Iain Stewart MP, the corridor’s official champion, and builds on the East West Rail APPG with a wider remit ‘that reflects the challenges and opportunities of the region’.
Mr Stewart said: ‘The launch event was a great success. There was a great buzz of excitement and a willingness to co-operate to realise the potential of the project. In my role as the Government’s official champion for the corridor, I shall now be setting up meetings with stakeholders over the next couple of months to allow me to map out their priorities for the Government.
‘I have met with Sajid Javid and the Government sees enormous potential for this new “Silicon Valley” to drive the nation’s economic growth. There are many challenges and to be successful we shall have to innovate new ways for central government departments and local authorities to co-operate.’
Cllr Martin Tett, chairman of England’s Economic Heartland, the emerging sub-national transport body for the region (pictured with Mr Stewart), said: ‘The launch of the Oxford-MK-Cambridge APPG is another demonstration of the real momentum which is building behind this corridor, which with the right investment in strategic infrastructure, can leverage significant economic growth all the way from East Anglia to the west of England and south Wales, enabling us to compete for UK Plc on the global stage.’
All-party parliamentary groups consist of members of both houses who join together on a cross-party basis to pursue a particular topic or interest.