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Have you ever tried to travel to Oxford from Cambridge? The journey is cumbersome, long and tiring. For a long time, people have wanted to build a motorway between the two old university towns. This would not only be beneficial to the two universities, but also relieve the North of London of a lot of traffic.
In fact, exchanges between the two of the oldest educational centres of England have been hindered for many years by the fact that travelling from one place to the other is just too difficult. Why travel to Oxford if you can travel to Paris in the same time? That seems ludicrous, considering how close Cambridge and Oxford actually are – they are a mere 80 miles apart and travelling from one place to the other takes over three hours. The issue has now been rekindled in parliament and is being openly discussed.
Such a plan may help create a British “Silicon Valley”, helping to establish a more knowledge-based economy. In fact, science and technology has always been Britain’s strength and this project would help create many jobs and improve the economic situation on a long run. Even public transport between the cities is not easy and the region would benefit from a direct rail line, which is an idea rooted even further in the future.
On the other hand, a motorway puts an immense strain on the local environment and threatens many habitats and will have a huge impact on nature. Would the beautiful landscape and the fens be at stake with such an ambitious project? What about all the people living in adjacent villages, do they really want a new motorway cutting through their neighbourhood?
Especially at times where economic prospects look slimmer we have to look ahead to the future and choose spending wisely and for the benefit of the economic development and the people who live in the area.
This project has massive pros and cons and if realised would impact many of us. What do you think? We would like to invite you as our readers to let us and your neighbours know your opinion.
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Filed Under: Q&A
About the Author: Sebastian Müller was born and raised in Leipzig/Germany and moved to England as an adolescent. He is a trained research chemist and geneticist and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut Curie in Paris/ France working in cancer research. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and is still actively involved at the university today. He is fluent in English, German and French and has many fortés and interests including science, philosophy, linguistics, history, competitive sports such as rowing, fitness and nutrition. He is one of the co-founders of City Connect. He is a freelance writer also drawing from his experience as an author in peer-reviewed scientific journals. "I love writing and putting my thoughts down on paper. The written word to me is one of the most powerful ways of conveying thoughts and initiating discussions."