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Infrastructure Investment: Oxfordshire

Volume 644: debated on Tuesday 3 July 2018

Under this Government, investment in infrastructure will reach the highest sustained levels since the 1970s. In respect of Oxfordshire, the Department for Transport and Chiltern Railways have jointly funded a £400 million western section, delivering a new service between Oxford and London Marylebone, and we are of course backing the new Expressway and the east-west railway linking Oxford to Cambridge.

I am grateful for the Minister’s answer, but congestion on the A40 and reliability problems on the Cotswold line make travel a daily challenge for residents of west Oxfordshire. We urgently need upgrades on that line and extra capacity on the road network, particularly the A40. What can Ministers offer through central Government funding to give hope to my constituents?

I appreciate that my hon. Friend has been campaigning for such things since before his election. We have provided £35 million for the Oxford Science Transit scheme, which will enhance the A40 between Oxford and Witney. As for the A40 more generally, the Government are providing £150 million through the Oxfordshire housing deal, which he could tap into to see further improvements on that road.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and Dudley have much to commend them, but they are both a long way away from Oxfordshire, upon which this question is focused. The hon. Member for Dudley North (Ian Austin) has always erred on the side of optimism in the 30 years that I have known him. He should keep trying, but later on. Resume your seat, man. Jolly well done.

I do not know what the hon. Gentleman knows about Oxfordshire, but we will hear from the fella later. We look forward to it. A sense of anticipation is developing in the House.