ON BUDGET day amid the Brexit furore, four ministers declared the government’s commitment to deliver the Ox-Cam Arc.

My immediate thought was surely they mean the Ark? We will need one as sea levels rise and the UK is battered by torrential rain with climate breakdown. Building over flood plains hasn’t been a sensible approach.

Smiling out from the foreword of the Arc declaration is the bearded face of Cherwell District Council leader Barry Wood appointed Chair of the Arc leaders Group.

This is comprised of the Local Enterprise Partnerships and council leaders of the counties that will be blighted by this development corridor of one million homes across Oxfordshire to Cambridgeshire.

The vision is for an Expressway to link these new settlements, but there is little chance of a fast journey when at least two million extra people are trying to get along it, as well as lorries transporting all the goods to supply the businesses and warehouses that will spring up.

The 2.5 million new residents, equal to a third of the population of London, will live in estates on green field sites requiring new access roads and essential services like health centres, schools and clean water. How much will this cost?

People will likely travel to work by car, and not by walking and cycling as the emerging Oxfordshire 2050 plan expects people to do. Road traffic will inevitably increase unless public transport is improved.

The Ox-Cam Arc vision has to mesh with the Oxfordshire 2050 plan for 100,000 homes which the planners call ‘sustainable’, an overused and meaningless word.

It is not sustainable to build and concrete over swathes of our countryside. Our Wildlife Trusts have bravely taken the government to court for failing to assess this environmental damage and the loss of many irreplaceable sites.

Current residents have had no choice in the proposals to use Oxfordshire as a honeypot to benefit developers and their shareholders. However, a CPRE survey shows that 74per cent of residents fear the damage to the countryside.

You can have a voice at a conference organised by the No Expressway Alliance on March 30 at the John Paul II Centre in Bicester. Book to reserve your place via their website or facebook page.

Oxfordshire County Council meets on April 2 to vote on two motions, one opposing the Expressway and the second on preventing climate breakdown. Oxfordshire residents are encouraged to write to county councillors and attend at County Hall from 9am.