Views sought on longer term solution for the A40 corridor
In July 2015, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet agreed to an infrastructure project for improvements to be made along the A40 from Eynsham to Wolvercote which was largely funded through the Local Growth Fund. Totalling more than £35 million, this project, in addition to other current and planned projects throughout the A40 corridor, will provide congestion relief in the short to medium term. However, most importantly, these investments set the stage for a much larger undertaking to tackle congestion in the long term.
Prime Minister and Witney MP, David Cameron, is pictured being briefed by Oxfordshire County Council Leader, Ian Hudspeth, ahead of today's consultation briefing on the A40. David Cameron said: "I am pleased that Government funding is enabling the County Council to make vital improvements to the A40. Absolutely more needs to be done but it is good to see progress being made and I encourage residents to respond to the consultation."
Ambitious improvement plans to connect Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire County Council is committed to finding a long-term strategy to tackle current and projected congestion on the A40. As part of this strategy we want to:
- improve travel times and journey reliability along the A40 corridor, particularly between Witney and Oxford
- stimulate economic growth, in line with the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan
- improve safety and reduce environmental impacts such as air pollution and noise along the A40 corridor.
To assist this, Oxfordshire County Council has assessed a number of options around how the next phase of A40 improvements could be taken forward. These options will be available to view online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/A40 (from the launch of the public consultation on 26 September 2015) along with a consultation feedback form. The last date to respond is Sunday 8 November 2015 when the consultation closes.
The county council has assessed a number of options for an approach for the long term strategy including: an A40 bus lane, a guided busway, expanding the road to a dual carriageway, Witney to Oxford train service, and a Witney to Oxford tram.
Reducing congestion and boosting local economy
The A40 is a single carriageway road and on the section between Witney and Oxford, between 23,000 and 30,000 vehicles a day and is the main route linking the M40, Oxford, Cheltenham and South Wales.
County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The longer term solution for the A40 corridor will require ambition and creativity. We want to hear from local people once more about what form that should take.
“Road users in west Oxfordshire will be the biggest winners from the £35million investment in the A40, which will create a new bus lane into Oxford and several measures to reduce congestion at pinch points.
“I’m keen for residents to attend our exhibitions to give their views on long-term measures to deal with problems on the A40 which cause drivers daily problems and hold back the local economy.
“We need local views on our proposed range of longer-term solutions for the A40 corridor now so that we are ready to bid for future funding opportunities from government as they arise. While they are presented as distinct options, a combination of schemes could be taken forward.”
Councillor Barry Norton, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The A40 through West Oxfordshire is regularly congested, causing misery for many people on a daily basis and impacting on our local and national economy. It’s a major issue for our district and only a long-term solution will solve the problem. I urge people to respond to Oxfordshire County Council’s consultation and contribute their thoughts and ideas about how they think the problem can be solved.”
Find out more
A series of drop-in exhibitions have been organised to allow anyone interested to find out more. These are on:
- Saturday 26 September between 10:00am and 4pm. The Methodist Church, 40 High Street, Witney, OX28 6HG
- Wednesday 30 September between 4pm and 8pm. Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1ND
- Friday 9 October between 12 noon and 7pm. Cassington Village Hall, The Green, Cassington, OX29 4AX
- Saturday 10 October between 10:30am and 4pm. Eynsham Village Hall, 46 Back Lane, Eynsham, OX29 4QW.
What happens next?
The feedback from this consultation will inform a discussion by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet in Spring 2016 on the long-term strategy for the A40.