A NEW alliance has been launched to oppose ‘damaging’ road schemes across Oxfordshire.

This Saturday (November 5), several groups from across the county are meeting to launch of the Oxfordshire Roads Action Alliance (ORAA).

ORAA is a community alliance and campaign group that is being set up to ‘prevent unsuitable road development’ in Oxfordshire.

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The alliance is being supported by local parish councils, Oxford Friends of the Earth and the national Transport Action Network.

The launch is at Didcot Methodist Hall at The Broadway, Didcot from 11am to 2.30pm. 

ORAA’s first main focus is the South Oxfordshire Road Scheme (SORS) – the ‘HIF1 Road’ that will create a new arterial link from the A34 near Milton to the B4015 Oxford-Reading road near Nuneham Courtenay.

The road is linked to proposed major housing schemes and will cut across green field sites around Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Sutton Courteney and Clifton Hampden.

It will involve a major new road bridge over the river Thames and two expensive rail bridges, one over the main Great Western line to the West Country and Wales.

The road is being promoted by Oxfordshire County Council and will cost at least £300M. Some of the funding will come from central Government.

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Speakers at the launch will include Jenny Raggettof Transport for New Homes (TfNH).

TfNH have studied and critiqued many plans for soulless new housing estates built in the countryside based on new roads, often with little or no public transport or active travel provision.

Also speaking is Professor John Whitelegg, a national transport expert.

Chris Church, of Oxford Friends of the Earth, helped launch the campaign against the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway four years ago.

He said: “The threat from road building in Oxfordshire has never been greater. It’s been shown time and again that new roads generate more traffic and pollution.

“That’s why we are launching the new alliance to protect our beautiful county from this destructive onslaught.”

Appleford resident and ORAA co-chair Greg O’Broin added: “The proposed HIF1 road scheme is opposed by the five parish councils along the route.

“There are much better ways to meet our transport needs than a new nine mile arterial link road through South Oxfordshire.”

“The County Council’s own transport plan states that they want to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport and reduce car journeys by one in four.

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“Yet this six-year old road plan will generate more traffic, pollution and undermine their climate targets.

“This proposal is an out dated solution that just will not work, and is a complete waste of money.”


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, Wantage and Didcot.

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

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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