A DECISION to build a major link road through Bicester has been put on hold ahead of proposals for a new motorway junction.

Plans for the new junction off the M40 close to Bicester are currently under review with full details expected to be revealed by the summer.

But Oxfordshire County Council highways department has said it cannot push ahead with the plans for the congestion-busting link road until a case has been made for the new motorway junction.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: "We are not proposing to progress work on designing the scheme until an assessment of the new motorway junction from the M40 – proposed by the district council as part of the garden town submission – has been undertaken.

"The findings of this assessment work could result in changes to the future transport strategy for Bicester which could alter the need for, or the character of, a south east perimeter road in Bicester."

A route for the major link road was safeguarded last year in Cherwell District Council's local plan to avoid any development on the possible route ahead of a decision.

Following a public consultation in 2015 the county council found the preferred option would be for the link road to connect from the A41, near junction nine of the M40, to Graven Hill running close to the village of Wendlebury.

The road would mean drivers travelling along the A41 would not have to go into Bicester and then out again.

Village resident John Offord said: "We are of course very concerned about it as the route looks like it will be going through our garden.

"But it is fair enough that they are waiting for all the information before a decision is made.

"It is not nice for everybody affected to have to wait but it makes sense to wait until we know what position we are in with the new junction."

In the consultation, the southern route near Wendlebury was put forward along with a route closer to Bicester joining up to Vendee Drive roundabout.

In total there were 525 responses to the consultation with 424 people choosing the 'southern option two' as the preferred route.

Oxfordshire County Councillor for Bicester West and town mayor Les Sibley said: "People need to be kept up to date with what is going to happen especially in their own neighbourhoods.

"The public have had all these route put out and asked about but heard nothing, it is that uncertainty that worries people if something, if anything is built."

"At the moment it is also about getting funding into place for these plans such as the motorway junction, which could be a battle in itself - it is all just ideas at the moment."