The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc: Responses to the Commission’s report

Published: 17 Nov 2017



Organisations respond to the Commission’s report into the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc:

Councillor James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council  

“We have already delivered spectacular levels of economic growth in Central Bedfordshire. We are committed to realising the economic potential of our area and sustainable growth. We agree with the Commission’s views that development should not be to the detriment of existing communities and to ensure this we need investment in critical infrastructure up front.”

Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group

“The partnership railway already plays a crucial part in connecting communities and in boosting the economy and there is huge potential for rail to do even more for the towns along the East West route. Working together, the rail industry has published a long-term plan to change and improve to benefit the economy, customers and communities which is why we are working closely with government and local organisations to develop the East West project.”

Trudi Elliott, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute

“The Commission has put forward a bold and integrated vision for turbo-charging an important economic area of the country and creating places where people can flourish. Critical to delivering this vision is good planning. Planning of housing, transport and other infrastructure, and the environment in a joined-up manner is what this country needs more of.

“The report today sets out a model for the Government and local leaders to up their game in using planning at its most creative to help this country fulfil its potential.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation

“Collaboration and coordination between central and local government and stakeholders is key if we are to develop sustainable solutions to our housing shortage. Integrating the planning of infrastructure and housing will deliver more homes and help create communities that benefit both new and existing residents. Housebuilders are committed to working with all parties to help deliver the right number of homes with the facilities their residents need, in the right places.”

Cllr Martin Tett, chairman of England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance:

“There is much to welcome in this report. It is critically important that growth is enabled by the provision of new infrastructure. However, to be truly successful this must be more than just transport and include, for example, new utilities, high speed broadband, health services, education, parks and open space and skills. We also welcome the NIC’s view that the identification of areas for growth should be led by local authorities, not imposed ‘top down’. The Heartland Alliance clearly presents the base on which to build new, strategic, cross corridor planning and delivery vehicles. The Government does not have to start from scratch and risk losing the momentum already developed.”

Cllr Mark Shaw, Chairman of the East West Rail Consortium Western Section board:

“We are delighted that the National Infrastructure Commission has reinforced the importance of East West Rail to enabling the England’s Economic Heartland region to realise its economic potential. We need to see the Commission’s support turned into reality.  Next week’s budget provides the Chancellor with the opportunity to allocate the monies to deliver the Western Section.  But that must be seen as just the start – for the full benefit of East West Rail to be realised, work on the ‘missing link’ between Bedford and Cambridge must continue at pace, and its delivery accelerated if at all possible. We therefore welcome the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation on the Central Section.”

Pete Winkelman, Chairman of MK Dons/StadiumMK

“I am fortunate to live in the most successful new town in the UK, the direct result of forward planning and infrastructure investment, and I am excited that this nationally significant report recognises the pivotal role Milton Keynes can play in the future as we look to leverage our expertise in delivering new communities across the Oxford-Cambridge arc.

“The MK: Futures Commission, of which I was a Commissioner, identified improved transport infrastructure as absolutely key to achieve the step change needed in delivery and by implementing the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission the full potential of Milton Keynes and the vibrant region in which it sits can be realised.”

 Alex Burns, President of Millbrook

“I am delighted that the NIC has recognised the strength of the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge arc. It is a vibrant high-technology cluster with a particular focus on developing the future of transportation. At Millbrook we are investing heavily in new test facilities for the development of low carbon, low emission, connected and autonomous vehicles. Our business growth is currently constrained by our ability to relocate talented individuals to the area and this new deal has the potential to solve housing and transport infrastructure issues. This could add significantly to the capacity of the area for economic growth.”

David Bell, CEO of SBD Automotive

“As we continue to grow in automotive technology research worldwide, we are constantly looking to recruit more of the industry’s best engineers, as well as the next generation of talent that will help shape SBD Automotive in the future. The linking of these hubs of innovation, and the increased access to talent pools and universities, will likely create a globally acknowledged tech corridor that will act as a magnet for new investment and jobs.”

Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, Chair of South East Midlands LEP (SEMLEP)

“We welcome the Commission’s report that recognises the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge growth area as one of the most economically important parts of the country. As a £50bn, fast growing economy, SEMLEP has identified priorities to grow businesses, grow people and grow places to ensure that our economy remains highly productive, resilient and continues to stimulate innovation to deliver growth. Maximising the opportunities that will result from stronger East-West links is integral to helping us to achieve our vision of the South East Midlands as the commercial core of the Growth Corridor.”

Andrew Jones, Cities Programme Lead at AECOM

“AECOM believes that strategic transport infrastructure and housing development should be planned holistically rather than separately in order to drive the UK’s future growth and long term prosperity. This ambition requires mechanisms such as development corporations and sub-regional spatial plans and we are delighted that the National Infrastructure Commission shares our vision.”

Andrew M Smith, Chairman of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprsie Partnership (BTVLEP)

“Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes the publication of the National Infrastructure Commission report – especially in the context of the forthcoming publication of the Industrial Strategy white paper. We are delighted that the significant economic potential of the area has been recognised at a national level and that many of the infrastructure requirements needed to unlock this potential are included within the initial recommendations, in particular the advance delivery of East West Rail, the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and improving rail links to London.”

“The Bucks Growth Strategy, produced by BTVLEP, was shared with the National Infrastructure Commission and Government as part of the corridor consultation. It sets out the ambitions and opportunity for Buckinghamshire to be an integral part of economically led growth for the corridor.”

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