A BUS gate at a major housing development has been given the green light despite various objections and concerns.

Oxfordshire County Council has approved a ‘bus gate’ restriction in Elder Way in Wantage, the eastern access to the Crab Hill development.

Crab Hill has been allocated space for 1,500 homes, including a new primary school and employment space.

As of May 1, 350 homes were occupied at the site.

The bus gate will operate between the junctions with the A417 Reading Road and Appletons, the first side road within the estate.

There will also be turning restrictions for vehicles travelling on the A417 to prevent them from entering Elder Way, and then on Elder Way to prevent access to the A417.

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A statement read out at a county council meeting, on behalf of Wantage Town Council, called for a decision on the bus gate to be deferred.

The statement read: “Wantage Town Council believes the decision on the proposed bus gate be deferred until such time as the western end link road is completed and sufficient traffic data can be collected.

“It is felt by the council that following completion of the link road, a large proportion of the traffic will be taken off that section of the A417, negating the need of the bus gate.”

Concerns were also raised by a Thames Valley Police traffic management officer, during a consultation.

The response read: “My concern is the confusion this arrangement is likely to cause once implemented, taking into account this junction has been the only route in and out of the estate for many months and likely to be so until the new road layout is completed which again is likely to be months/years ahead.”

Oxford Mail: An artist impression of the Kingsgrove estate at Crab Hill in Wantage. Picture: Roberts Limbrick architectsAn artist impression of the Kingsgrove estate at Crab Hill in Wantage. Picture: Roberts Limbrick architects (Image: Picture: Roberts Limbrick architects)

Despite the objections and concerns, the bus gate was approved by the county council’s cabinet member for highway management, Andrew Gant.

He said: “The basic point is that Elder Way and the residential streets around it should be safeguarded from through traffic and therefore be nicer, safer, cleaner places for people to live.

“It’s not true to say that cars can’t use it, all homeowners can drive to their home and will be able to do so more easily because they will not be stuck in congestion.”

The Oxfordshire Cycling Network group approved of the bus gate during consultation, saying: “We support the bus gate and turn restrictions in order to manage traffic within the Crab Hill development, creating streets where the motor traffic will be relatively light and thus encouraging for walking and cycling.

“However, the biggest opportunity on this development has been lost with the lack of coherent active travel links between the development and the town centre.”

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice