THE first meeting of a new alliance opposing ‘damaging’ road schemes across Oxfordshire has been a success.

Several groups from across the county gathered on Saturday (November 5) to launch 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.

About 40 people included land owners and residents showed up for the launch to express their support in opposing ‘damaging’ road applications.

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.

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

Chris Church, of Oxford Friends of the Earth who helped launch the campaign against the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway four years ago, said: “A lot more people showed up than we expected and said, ‘Yes, we’d like to provide support’.

“There was very useful discussions and the attended was mostly people from villages who are going to be impacted as well as the parish councillors who oppose the plans.

“The next step is that the plans put forward for the road were severely lacking environmental information and organisations like the Environment Agency we unhappy so there will be a consultation when the plans return which are imminently.

“We will be helping people to make their objections which will mostly be on environmental grounds as well as noise problems and traffic.

“If there are short term traffic problems in Didcot then they needed to be solved directly. A new bridge across the Thames is now going to solve rush hour traffic in Didcot.

“Our next step it to make our views are heard as strongly as possible. We will certainly be making a fuss.”

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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.”


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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:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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