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Schemes approved to tackle Witney gridlock
MULTI-MILLION pound road schemes to stop gridlock in Witney have been approved.
It also agreed cash to build new junctions on the A40 at Downs Lane and Shores Green and minor changes to Bridge Street.
It is a further boost for the town after Tuesday’s approval for a development of 1,000 homes on land between Downs Road and Deer Park Road.
That scheme will bring a £6.5m roundabout on the A40 at Downs Road, a new primary school and, if necessary, a new secondary school.
West Oxfordshire District Council wants to allow 1,900 homes in the town by 2026 in its core strategy plan.
On the new roads investments agreed yesterday, deputy county council leader Rodney Rose said: “It is patently obvious that some work is needed to Witney road infrastructure.
“Witney is like everywhere else in the country, housing has gone up but the infrastructure has not necessarily been improved at the same pace. The schemes are basically just to make it so the extra housing going into Witney won’t totally gridlock the town.”
The Conservative said the council has to “look at other ways to ease the problems” after the collapse of a controversial by-pass plan.
It wanted to build the by-pass, called the Cogges Link Road, between Oxford Hill and Station Lane.
Yet it scrapped the plan in June after a Government planning inspector ruled it could not compulsorily purchase land needed for the scheme.
The £2m Ducklington Lane and Station Lane project will use cash given by developers to ease the impact of new homes.
It will have three-lane approaches and two-lane exits – merging to one – on all arms except Thorney Leys, which will have one exit.
The Ducklington Lane northbound stretch, between the roundabout south of the A40 and the Station Lane junction, will be dualled to create two lanes.
The council hopes to start work in summer 2014 and finish by that autumn.
A new £6.5m roundabout on the A40 at Downs Road will also use developer contributions, including cash from a planned 1,000 home estate in West Witney, to be built by 2016.
County Hall is also considering using cash earmarked for the link road for a new junction on the A40 at Shores Green between 2017 and 2019.
Officers are negotiating with housing developers to move cash set aside for the link road to the scheme, which would be a four-way slip road.
It also wants “smaller scale measures” in an around Bridge Street to improve traffic flows. The council has given no date or details for this last project and said further work would be required to explore potential solutions.