COMMENT: Money for A40 highlights the need to review transport ideas

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First published in News

TRAFFIC chaos hits commuters in Oxford almost every day and it only takes an accident, or even a bin lorry, to cause long tailbacks.

One of the major routes suffering the worst congestion is the A40 between Oxford and Witney so it is welcome news that £35m has been secured from the Government to invest in a major new traffic scheme.

The most likely option appears to be a guided busway and as the same system operates in Cambridge it should be given serious consideration.

But if the county council does go ahead with a guided busway it could make some of the Connecting Oxfordshire schemes highlighted by leader Ian Hudspeth earlier this year much less likely.

If millions of pounds is being invested in a guided busway, which could work well to beat congestion, then there would be a question mark over pouring cash into a conventional railway, or something more futuristic like a monorail.

Traffic schemes for Oxfordshire are now coming thick and fast, including a pledge from Chancellor George Osborne to commit cash to freeing up traffic on the A34.

Now would be a good time for highways bosses to present a road map of new schemes to the public.

Everyone welcomes the benefits that improvement projects can bring to major routes, but if too many are launched at the same time there is the possibility of gridlock.

The Oxford Science Transit Scheme, to link the city with surrounding centres of research , is an admirable one.

But the county council now needs to set out clearly exactly when and how all these major schemes are going to take place.

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