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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/cambridge-milton-keynes-oxford-growth-corridor-call-for-evidence/cambridge-milton-keynes-oxford-growth-corridor-call-for-evidence
The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) was established by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in October 2015 with Andrew Adonis appointed as its interim Chair. The other members of the commission are:
- Sir John Armitt
- Professor Tim Besley
- Demis Hassabis
- Lord Heseltine
- Sadie Morgan
- Bridget Rosewell
- Sir Paul Ruddock
The commission will carry out independent and unbiased assessments of the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs and monitor the government’s and industry’s progress in meeting them. It will periodically publish a National Infrastructure Assessment looking across all key sectors and geographies. That will identify the UK’s long-term infrastructure requirements and prioritise the most important projects for further development. It will give clear strategic direction to industry and government and provide a firm basis for planning and investment.
Alongside this, the commission will carry out specific studies on pressing national infrastructure challenges in order to support the long term competitiveness of the UK economy.
On 16 March 2016, the Chancellor asked the commission to:
….make recommendations [to government] to maximize the potential of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor as a single, knowledge intensive cluster that competes on the global stage, whilst protecting the area’s high quality environment and securing the homes and job the area needs. The commission will look at the priority infrastructure improvements needed and assess the economic case for which investments would generate the most growth.
The detailed terms of reference are available here.
The commission will produce:
an interim report in autumn 2016 that assesses the economic case for planned road and rail investment, maps planned local and national development, identifies constraints to growth, regeneration and quality of life, and future opportunities over the next 30 years
a final report in late 2017 that provides recommendations to boost connectivity, growth, jobs, housing, sustainability, local governance and a framework to measure the impact of investment
2. Call for evidence
The commission is launching a 12 week call for evidence on the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge ‘growth corridor’ and encourages all interested parties to submit evidence, ideas and solutions.
Those making submissions are strongly encouraged to provide details of the evidence and data which support their positions to enable the commission to understand more fully the basis on which those conclusions have been reached. In addition, the commission will work with key local and national stakeholders as part of an open and transparent process of engagement to support the call for evidence.
As home to 4 of the UK’s fastest growing towns and cities, as well as globally-renowned centres of research expertise and advanced manufacturing, this corridor combines strong potential for growth with important long-term challenges:
Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford have some of the highest levels of productivity in the UK compared to other cities. Northampton has been identified as the city with the highest rate of business start-ups in the country outside London
the populations of cities across corridor are highly skilled. Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes rank first, second and seventeenth in UK for the percentage of their populations holding qualifications at NVQ4 level or above
Oxford and Cambridge’s universities rank among the top 5 in the world, the two cities are home to over 3,000 technology firms, and the corridor hosts the UK’s £9 billion motor sport industry
since the early 1980s the population of Milton Keynes has more than doubled, and Oxford and Cambridge have grown by between 20 and 30%
house prices in Oxford and Cambridge rank second and third among UK cities behind London, while Oxford and Cambridge rank as first and third most unaffordable cities, with London second
commuting across the corridor is relatively limited, though commuting from both Oxford and Cambridge to London is around ten times greater than to other cities in the corridor
Taking into consideration these opportunities and challenges the aim of this study is to maximise the long term potential of the corridor whilst both protecting the area’s high quality environment and securing the homes, and jobs, the region needs.
The questions the commission is particularly keen to focus on in this initial phase of work are:
Many places across the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor have very successful local economies and are perceived as highly desirable places to live.
- what have been the key drivers of that success?
- what is holding back further growth and greater productivity?
- in particular, what planned or new infrastructure improvements would best support sustainable growth and promote innovation over the long-term?
- does the corridor require better connectivity to other major centres of growth?
Does the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford area, including Northampton, form a recognizable economic corridor? If so:
- what factors unite the area?
- would greater emphasis on corridor-wide planning and decision making benefit local communities and local economies?
- would that same emphasis on coordinated planning and decision making provide wider benefits for the UK economy?
- should adjacent towns and cities be incorporated into the corridor in terms of growth and infrastructure planning?
Describe your vision to maximise growth, maintain a high quality environment, and deliver more jobs and homes across the corridor over the next 30 years:
- what does that mean for growth and infrastructure investment in your area?
- what steps are currently being taken to realise that vision, and what more needs to be done?
- what value could new cross-corridor intercity road and rail links bring? How do these compare to other transport initiatives e.g. intra-city links, or wider infrastructure, priorities?
Are there lessons to be learnt from previous initiatives to maximise the potential of the corridor?
Are you aware of any examples of UK or international good practice, for example in respect of new technology, local frameworks or the built environment, that are relevant to this review?
4. How to respond
The evidence submitted will inform the commission’s understanding of the wider issues surrounding the review we have been asked to undertake.
Submissions of evidence should be no longer than 10 pages and should be emailed to: GrowthCorridorEvidence@nic.gsi.gov.uk
Please provide submissions and evidence by 5 August 2016.
Evidence will be reviewed thereafter by the commission. If further information or clarification is required, the Commission Secretariat will be in contact with you.
In exceptional circumstances we will accept submissions in hard copy. If you need to submit a hard copy, please send your response to the Commission Secretariat at the following address:
Growth corridor call for evidence
National Infrastructure Commission
1 Horse Guards Road
We may publish any submissions made; if you believe there is a reason why your submission or any part of your submission should be considered confidential please provide details.
The commission is subject to legal duties which may require the release of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or any other applicable legislation or codes of practice governing access to information.