Investing in the A40 – summary
5 November 2015
OCS response to consultation, Nov 2015
The County Council’s consultation on investing in the A40 is premature. It ignores the pending review of the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan; Local Plans which will determine where new development and the traffic it generates will go have still not been finished; the County doesn’t explain how any of the options tie in with its long-term transport plan LTP4. We urgently need a properly-coordinated strategic development plan for the whole of the Central Oxfordshire region
People are being asked to choose between options without having the facts they need, such as traffic volumes. The bottleneck at the Wolvercote roundabout is already being addressed, so its far from clear whether anything needs to be done now. A number of other key questions require answers if meaningful consideration of ‘solutions’ is to be given, and it is not clear whether these questions have been properly considered in the preparation of the consultation.
You can read our full response on this link and a short summary in our Press Release under ‘Continue reading’).
Press release 5 Nov 2015
The County Council’s consultation on investing in the A40 is premature, says Oxford Civic Society. The forthcoming review of the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan is a major known uncertainty. Local Plans which will determine future land use development and thus traffic patterns are another known uncertainty. The County having invested much effort in its recently adopted Local Transport Plan 4 fails to explain how any of these proposals take the Plan forward.
‘We urgently need a properly-coordinated strategic development plan for the whole of the Central Oxfordshire region’ says Peter Thompson, Chairman of Oxford Civic Society (OCS), in a response to the consultation posted to the Society’s website.
The consultation invites lay members of the public to form opinions without giving the facts – traffic volumes etc. – they need. Since the cause of the current congestion is the bottleneck at the Wolvercote roundabout (which is already being addressed), rather than the capacity of the A40 further west, it is not even clear what the justification is for this investment. A number of other key questions require answers if meaningful consideration of ‘solutions’ is to be given. Worryingly, it is not clear whether these questions have been properly considered in the preparation of the consultation.
According to the consultation papers, nearly three-quarters of the east-bound A40 traffic will end its journey parked in or near Oxford. The shift of a portion of this traffic to public transport would yield social, environmental and economic benefits. Of the options presented the dedicated bus lanes scheme would appear to have the most merit in the short- to medium-term.
The option of dualling the existing single carriageway would only encourage even more private car use, and run counter to many national and local policies. The costs, and social and environmental damage, are unacceptable. This is not an option which should be pursued says the Society’s response.