Nul points for vision

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Comments from our supporter Ian Meharg on the announcement by the District Council to bid exclusively for major road improvements:

traffic jam

More jams tomorrow…

The proposal to dual some of the A40 and add a bus lane, has zero imagination or vision. This thinking is completely locked into failed 20th Century approaches and dominated by the vested interests subsidised with OUR money.

Dualling the A40 from the current end of the Witney bypass to the Eynsham roundabout with the B4449, only moves the problem 3 miles east and compresses it further into the bottleneck that OCC has designed in at the Cassington junction. The recent changes to Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts (which took 18 months to build) have had zero impact on journey times into and around Oxford – in fact, have made them worse due to unnecessary waiting at traffic lights when the roads are empty. And the problems at Cassington/Eynsham remain as they have for the last 15+ years.

Furthermore, these proposals do nothing to address the demand for road / vehicle-based journeys. You can only achieve so much simply by tinkering with available capacity. A truly integrated approach that is fit for the 21st Century and the digital age is urgently required. I have summarised such an approach which is available.

Constantly tinkering with marginal approaches will fix nothing. In fact, it will make things worse, MUCH worse. It always has and it always will.

Until and unless there is a quantum shift in thinking – in the politics, in the funding, the blinkered vision and lack of ambition in those that spend our money – we will still be having this discussion in 20 years’ time. So, either we sit back and accept it and hope that maybe, just maybe, there might be marginal improvement, or we devise a properly integrated (not merely co-located) approach to ALL forms of transport, utilising technology that may seem to some to be cutting edge now, but which will be commonplace in 2-3 years’ time (but still forward-looking), as well as tackling the ever rising demand for physical journeys. Basing a policy on what has gone 20 years ago, and expecting it to function 20 years ahead, is a monumental waste of money and a huge missed opportunity to provide Oxfordshire and the rest of the UK with an infrastructure that is even close to the quality of our European neighbours – who will soon be our competitors.

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