PLANS for a new traffic light junction on Oxford’s busy ring road have been branded a nightmare by some motorists.

City planners want to slash speed limits on part of the northern bypass and transform it into a house-lined avenue.

But some fear the scheme – which will include a new traffic-light controlled junction into the planned 1,000-home estate at Barton West, outlined in red – will simply compound congestion.

Planners at Oxford City Council say dropping speed limits from 70mph to 40mph on the stretch north of Green Road roundabout will improve traffic flows and combat pollution and noise.

The scheme is detailed as a “preferred option” in the latest consultation on plans for a 1,000-home housing estate at Barton West.

As landowner, the council is a development partner in the pro-ject and is now seeking residents’ views on the scheme.

The second consultation on the Barton Area Action Plan also sets out the options for community facilities, open spaces, and bus and cycle routes on the estate.

Planners say the aim is to ensure the new housing is fully integrated with existing estates at Northway and Barton.

But Alan Woodward, secretary of the City of Oxford Licensed Taxi Association, branded the bypass idea, inset, “ridiculous”.

He said: “Another set of traffic lights near the Green Road roundabout will back everything up to Headington and Cowley. It is a recipe for disaster to be honest.”

Mr Woodward said rush-hour delays of 45 minutes were not uncommon on that stretch of the ring road.

He added: “Green Road roundabout is going to be forever a problem unless they put an underpass in.”

Driving instructor Richard Clapham also believed the plan would add to congestion at rush hour, but understood the council’s predicament.

“It is probably the best way to do it but it will cause problems,” he said.

“I cannot see another way of doing it other than flyovers with slip roads and that is very expensive.”

The council’s economic development manager Mark Jaggard said detailed traffic modelling had been carried out in designing the proposed junction.

He added that many on the new estate, which will include additional walking and cycle links to Headington and Northway, would not necessarily use cars.

“If you work in the city centre or at Oxford Brookes University or the hospitals, would you want to make that journey by car?”, he said.

The “boulevard” option was championed by Oxford Civic Society last year.

Barton West, which could be home to about 1,000-homes, a new primary school and shops, is the last major housing site in the city and work is expected to start in 2013.

The Area Action Plan, being drawn up in consultation with residents, will decide the major elements of the estate.

Mr Jaggard added: “We are trying to think through the challenges of the site and what’s important. We have listened to what people have said and we think this is what is appropriate.”