WOLVERCOTE residents have claimed transport proposals for the Northern Gateway business park scheme were “rushed through” without enough consultation.

John Bleach, of the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum, said the group had “little faith” in the £9m project put forward by Oxfordshire County Council, which would involve major works to improve the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts.

The plans aim to offset an increase in traffic likely to be caused by the gateway development and is seen as a critical step before it can happen.

But council spokesman Martin Crabtree defended the process and said the authority had been “actively engaging” with residents. The consultation closed on Thursday.

Mr Bleach called for the council to reveal what other options it considered for the traffic relief scheme. They also wanted the council to hold more public meetings and claimed the process had been rushed.

He said plans for the roundabout should have been delayed until the county council finishes reviewing and updating its Oxford Area Transport Strategy.

The authority is renewing the strategy in response to figures which show traffic levels could soar by 35 per cent by 2025.

Mr Bleach said: “We have little faith in the county council’s ability to relieve the transport issues in this area.

“It seems to me that the county council rushed through these proposals because of the Northern Gateway project.

“We are quite frankly very disappointed. The wider consultation being carried out on Oxford’s transport strategy should be finished first before the [roundabout scheme] went ahead.”

Oxfordshire County Council announced in July it would add traffic light controls to Wolvercote roundabout and widen its approaches from the A40 and A44. It also proposed that Cutteslowe roundabout be converted to a ‘hamburger’-style junction, with the main road cutting through a central island.

Pedestrian and cyclist crossings are to be added to both junctions.

The scheme was first announced in February and will be funded by the £108.6m Government-funded Growth Deal, announced in July.

Council spokesman Mr Crabtree said the authority had put on two public exhibitions in North Oxford to explain the proposed traffic schemes to residents.

The scheme was also put up for public consultation on the county council’s website from July 3 -1.

Mr Crabtree said: “A transport strategy for North Oxford has also been developed by the county council, and a technical summary is available for residents to view and comment on as part of the city council’s consultation for the Northern Gateway Area Action Plan. The county council encourages residents to respond to the two consultations, which will help us to formulate the right response to on-going pressures in North Oxford.”

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