CAMPAIGNERS say even £180m worth of improvements will not fix the A40's woes.

Extensive plans revealed by Oxfordshire County Council include a park and ride north of the A40 at Eynsham, which is set to welcome a 2,200-home garden village and 1,000-home site west of the village.

Commuters travelling between Witney and Oxford already face regular delays of 20 minutes or more and Tony Bovey, of Eynsham Planning Improvement Campaign (EPiC), which has fought against the garden village plans, believes this will only get worse.

He said: "There needs to be a more extensive solution. When these 3,000 houses are built near Eynsham they will have to create new roundabouts to provide access and this will affect free flowing traffic."

Some commuters have joined Witney MP Robert Courts in calling for wholesale transport improvements in West Oxfordshire, including upgrades to the Cotswold Line.

Richard Stow, executive member of the Witney Oxford Transport Group (WOT) and Thames Valley chairman of campaign group Railfuture, called for rail to be prioritised too.

He said: "The opening of a rail link from Witney to Oxford and Cowley would not only create huge economic benefits, but also provide a strategic transport link in the event of catastrophic failures of the A40, which single or dual, remains the only link from our district to Oxford."

Oxfordshire County Council is part of the North Cotswold Line Taskforce, which aims to develop a more frequent and reliable train service in the area.

Spokesperson Martin Crabtree said: "Work is underway on developing a business case for investing in more track redoubling, new signals and extra platforms at Hanborough.

Mr Crabtree also said the county council would work with district and parish councils and housing developers to ensure new homes 'are served by safe access points', which is 'likely to involve new junctions on the A40'.

p 'Prioritise district's rail links' - see page 14