'LONG overdue' slip roads at an east Witney junction will make a huge difference to motorists, according to residents.

Adding slip roads to the A40 on the west side of Shores Green has long been mooted and design work could begin next year.

Campaigners say two more slip roads at the junction, which connects Oxford Hill and the A40, would help ease town centre traffic and reduce pollution.

They want residents to make their voices heard in an upcoming consultation on the area as part of West Oxfordshire's Local Plan.

Joy Aitmen, from Witney, said: "Like all my neighbours, I sometimes use the farm bridge over the A40 coming home from the west, or going towards Cheltenham, to get around the fact we have no slip roads on Shores Green junction.

"It isn't safe or sensible for this to continue, and nor is the awful pollution in the town centre.

"Let's all make sure it gets built before any new homes get built."

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Campaigners who set up the 'Build Shores Green Witney Now' Facebook page believe new slip roads would ease traffic in Newland, Woodstock Road and Bridge Street, as vehicles heading east or west could use the A40 instead.

Shores Green lies in the East Witney Strategic Development Area, which is earmarked for 450 homes from 2021/22 in the Local Plan.

The plan adds junction improvements must happen alongside this to 'mitigate the impact of increased traffic' in the area.

Oxford Mail:

The total cost of the improvements was estimated at £5.6m in 2011, but the district council said this is likely to have risen to £6-7m.

A £1.16m contribution towards the slip roads has already been secured from another housing development north of Burford Road.

West Oxfordshire District Council expects the landowner who wants the housing built to deliver the 'off-slip', which is on land they own, and fund part of the 'on slip'.

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The scheme is in the Connecting Oxfordshire: Local transport Plan, while Oxfordshire Growth Board has allocated funding from April 2020 after a proposal from the county and district councils.

County Council spokesperson Martin Crabtree said: "This will enable design work to be undertaken and offer some of the funding required to deliver the scheme. Developer contributions would need to make a proportionate contribution. The two authorities will start to build up background work during the coming financial year so that design work can quickly get started next year."

West Oxfordshire District Council leader James Mills added: “This long-awaited project is very important for Witney and we are keen to see it moving forward."