Bus lane plans for A40 into Oxford

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A £54 million plan to upgrade a heavily congested section of the A40 in Oxfordshire has been unveiled, following a public consultation that decided the most popular options for improving travel between Witney and Oxford.

The proposals intend to modify the stretch from Witney to Eynsham into a dual carriageway, and add bus lanes from there into Oxford.

Councillors will consider these plans in the near future. Other options for improvement, that didn’t prove as popular in the public consultation, included using a disused railway line between Witney and Oxford for a tram or guided bus or reopening it for rail service.

Issues with congestion have long been problematic in the area – this plan follows on from a 2015 scheme to improve traffic difficulties.

A new Park & Ride scheme at Eynsham has been in the pipeline since at least 2013, and has seen vastly differing opinions from local councillors and traffic campaigners on the effectiveness of such an option improving congestion.

Ian Hudspeth, County Council Leader, commented on the new plan: “What’s been put forward is a very good pragmatic solution. I know some people will say we should be looking at having a rail solution but the funding of that is just not realistic in the present climate.”

In contrast, Hugh Jaegar, Chairman of Bus Users Oxford action group, said that widening roads was not the solution.