An Oxfordshire MP has criticised the rejection of a £300 million road scheme and has claimed it is a decision which will “not do anything” to improve the environment.

Oxfordshire County Council’s planning committee voted against the £269 million HIF1 Didcot relief road last Tuesday (July 18), despite planning officers recommending that it was approved.

The proposals included building a dual carriageway on the A4130 from the A34 Milton Interchange towards Didcot, new bridges, and a Clifton Hampden bypass.

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Oxford Mail: Artists impression of the bridge crossing over the Thames near Culham.Artists impression of the bridge crossing over the Thames near Culham. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

Didcot MP David Johnston has criticised the decision and highlighted that the project aimed to deal with the influx of houses which are already on the way.

He said: “This is a pretty odd decision given the council asked for- and was given- extra money on top of what the government had already given it in order to be able to deliver this project.

“It is not a decision that will do anything to improve our environment as this project was designed to relieve pressure that is coming from houses that are already on their way.”

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Mr Johnston believes the community would get “all the extra people in cars which the houses will bring and none of the infrastructure improvement that was agreed to come with them” unless the “Lib Dem-led council can sort itself out”.

Oxford Mail: Artist's impression of A4130 with improved footways and cyclewaysArtist's impression of A4130 with improved footways and cycleways (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

After two days of discussion, seven committee members voted against the scheme while jus two were in favour.

Many objected to the scheme, labelling it “financially risky and climate-wrecking”.

South Oxfordshire district councillor Sam Casey-Rehaye, who has campaigned against the project since its inception, said: “I’m deeply grateful to the committee for their diligence and courage in refusing this application.

“This was always a flawed scheme, based on outdated evidence, deeply damaging to the landscape and setting of the River Thames.

“It would have been harmful to the health and well-being of local communities and devastating in climate terms.”

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Duncan Enright, county councillor and cabinet member for travel and development strategy, said: "The Didcot and surrounding areas major infrastructure scheme (HIF1) project is designed to provide more sustainable travel options in and around the town for existing and future residents and employees.

"This will also reduce a legacy of congestion in the surrounding villages and improving air quality and noise levels.

"It will provide vital transport infrastructure to enable more reliable journey times and resilience against flooding, and improve pedestrian and cycling connectivity.

“The route would provide 19.2km of high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure, opportunities for more direct, faster and more reliable bus routes and connect employment sites with Didcot, surrounding villages and existing walking and cycling routes.

"This will give residents in the Didcot area access to opportunity and easier more sustainable and affordable ways to travel."

Mr Enright reiterated that he was "naturally disappointed by the decision" and would "take stock of the committee's comments and reasons" before considering the next steps.

Supporters of the project also argued the scheme would have reduced congestion in villages as well as improving air quality and noise levels.

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