SEVERAL organisations have “joined forces” to oppose a £296 million transport network planned for Didcot.  

The Didcot Garden Town housing infrastructure programme, known as HIF1, is the combination of four projects to ensure there is capacity to connect a wave of new houses set to be built to the south of Oxford.

This includes the building of a dual carriageway on the A4130 east of Milton Interchange, a new road bridge over the A4130, railway line and Milton Road, a river crossing linking Didcot to Culham and a bypass for Clifton Hampden.

READ MORE: Council to take Didcot road scheme forward despite environmental concerns

However, numerous environmental groups, parish councils, and more are against the plans due to the potential environmental impact.

An open letter signed by four parish councils and seven environmental and travel groups has been sent to Oxfordshire County Council, which has been discussing the project since 2019, expressing their concerns.

The main concerns addressed in the letter are:

  • The road “cutting through” open countryside and including a major new bridge over the Thames
  • New roads “generating traffic and increasing traffic jams and congestion”
  • Construction “generating an estimated 154,000 tonnes of CO2” and extra traffic “adding to the burden”
  • The council stating that this road is “vital infrastructure” to support new housing “without public discussion of alternatives”

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In the open letter, it reads: “Despite these problems the council is still proposing this new road scheme, which flies in the face of existing environmental commitments, and exposes the council – and us as taxpayers - to significant financial risk.

“The increased CO2 emissions and air pollution resulting from this will be a step backwards for the work to create a clean and healthy county, while the inevitable impacts on nature along the route will also be a problem. 

“We know that many councillors are very unhappy about this. We know that this is a foolish and short-sighted proposal, first planned six years ago. 

“Councils in other parts of the country are pulling back on plans for new roads. Oxfordshire should do the same.

“We therefore call on Oxfordshire County Council to do the right thing - to withdraw this proposal and develop an infrastructure plan that meets the county’s needs for a safe and sustainable future.”

Chris Church, of Oxford Friends of the Earth, added: "This road is not the answer to the problems caused by development pressures in south Oxfordshire.

“We know that many councillors are very unhappy about this short-sighted proposal, first planned six years ago. 

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“Councils in other parts of the country are pulling back on plans for new roads. Oxfordshire should do the same."

The count council is set to approve a deal with Homes England for the HIF1 in a full cabinet meeting on Tuesday (21).

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Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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