HIGHWAYS England (formerly the Highways Agency) is the government-owned company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England's motorways and major A roads including the A34.

They have been asked to explore the case for a fast, high-quality road link to better connect Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge as part of the Oxford – Cambridge Arc.

In case you’ve missed it, the Oxford – Cambridge Arc is the phrase used to describe the Government growth plans to strengthen the booming economies of the UK’s science and technology hub including building up to a million new homes in an arc from Oxford to Cambridge.

Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge are growing fast in a region renowned for innovation where there are plans for a substantial increase in jobs and housing.

It's easier to travel into London from the three cities than go from one to the other.

Apparently this creates a huge barrier and risk to future growth while, supposedly, the housing shortfall is stifling further investment and is a major concern for the region.

Highways England states that a new high quality link road or expressway would complement East-West Rail and provide better opportunities for the region as a place to live and work.

Apparently this will support growth nationally as well as locally, providing better access to some of the world’s most important business and research institutions.

They say that this would also unlock new areas of growth in areas including Aylesbury Vale, Milton Keynes, Bedford, St Neots, Cambourne and Bourne Airfield as well as around the A428 from the A1 to Cambridge.

The expressway will use some existing roads as well as filling the missing link, a 30-mile gap in the network between the M1 at Milton Keynes and the M40 at Oxford.

Highways England’s ambition is to provide an outer orbital route around London, linking Southampton, the M3, M4, M40, M1, A1, A14/M11 and Felixstowe.

The only link between the M4 and the M40 is the A34 and this is the nub of the problem.

Wantage is used as a diversion route for the A34 whenever there is a problem between the M4 and the M40 and our narrow roads with houses on either side are not designed to take motorway traffic and never will be.

If they want this expressway, we need a Wantage bypass, or better still, to think about the impact of increasing transport emissions and improve the East-West rail link instead. Just forget the expressway idea.