RESIDENTS on an Oxford estate fear a proposed bus link will turn their ‘village in the heart of the city’ into a dangerous and polluted rat run.

The Northway Residents’ Action Group is planning action against Oxford City Council. The group first met six weeks ago after plans to create a Barton to Northway bus link were unveiled by city planners.

The link is part of the Barton Area Action Plan, which will see around 1,000 homes built to the west of Barton.

Three options are on the table to alleviate traffic on the A40 ring road, including a bus link from Barton to Northway and Headington which could see around four buses passing through the estate per hour.

Doug Robinson, who lives in Foxwell Drive, is chairman of the Northway Residents’ Action Group.

He said: “This will turn Northway into a polluted rat run.

“Northway is a beautiful area. We feel like a village in the heart of the city. We are as beautiful as any part of North Oxford.

“They want to build on green space to make this happen. There is a piece of land separating us from the A40 that was left there to act as a buffer to stop the noise.

“What was the point of doing that if they are going to build on it?”

More than 100 residents from the estate met this week to discuss how they will take their campaign against the bus link forward.

They are now gathering a petition.

Mother-of-four Georgina Gibbs, of Saxon Way, said buses would make the estate dangerous.

She said: “The children are already at risk from the buses.

“Any more of them will put pedestrians, cyclists and other road users in danger.”

Sheila Hessey, of Meadon Hill, added: “We already have the treat of 500 cars from the development of Ruskin Fields coming on to Foxwell Drive plus the extra housing at Dora Carr Close and Westlands Drive.

“It’s expecting too much for us to absorb all this traffic.”

An Oxford City Council spokesman said it was important the proposed development at Barton had excellent connections into the city, and to employment in Headington such as at the Oxford Radcliffe hospitals.

A spokesman added: “A bus link from Barton West via Northway will be a key feature of the proposed connections.

“However, following the consultation on the Barton Area Action Plan, a great deal more work, including further consultation and discussion with the bus companies and other stakeholders, will have to be undertaken before any detailed decisions, such as exact route and frequency of the services, can be made.”