Oxfordshire County Council has published a proposal to tackle serious congestion on the A40 with a series of short term measures.
Our response is as follows:
We welcome any investment in public transport and welcome in particular the approach that the proposed improvements are short term initiatives aimed at alleviating current congestion. We stress, however, that OCC must look at the provision of longer term ideas and plans and in particular we express our concern that none of the proposed improvements should in any way preclude or pre-empt future infrastructural investments such as those suggested by our campaign.
Long term planning required
WOT confirms its desire to seek a long term solution based around the old trackbed (trams or tram/trains or trains and Yarnton Parkway) as this provides a new option, not subject to perturbations on the A40 and other roads, as well as offering a safe, sustainable and reliable transport alternatives, increasing the District’s economic prospects and providing resilience in the event of accidents or incidents.
We continue to confirm support for the shorter term scheme for a new car park at Hanborough station, associated with completion of dualling of the the Cotswold Line and express bus links from Witney/Carterton, as this provides good connections to the national railway network along with a short journey time into Oxford city; BUT that this will only work if there is a direct connection from the A40: the A4095 is too congested already to take the extra traffic and does not provide a convenient link from Carterton.
Keep subsidies to buses
Finally, we stress that OCC should maintain a network of high quality bus services, subsidised as necessary, to provide reliable links into the rail network and important services e.g at Kingham, Charlbury, Hanborough, Oxford Parkway stations and JR hospital.