Drivers warned over calls for better A40 in West Oxfordshire

Rodney Rose

Rodney Rose

First published in News
Last updated
Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A TRANSPORT chief has warned commuters “be careful what you wish for” when arguing for improvements to the A40.

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport Rodney Rose said thousands more homes would need to be built to finance improvements.

West Oxfordshire District Council is currently considering allowing only 5,500 homes to be built in the district by 2029.

Residents have written to the council to raise concerns about A40 congestion in the district council’s public consultation into its core strategy.

Mr Rose said: “If Witney wants to go up from a population of 60,000 they would need roads. But if they do not want that, do not expect vast infrastructure improvements.

“An improvement to the transport link would lead to more housing growth. Be careful what you wish for.”

Mr Rose also ruled out dualling the A40 between Witney and Oxford and said it is more important to clear congestion at the Wolvercote Roundabout.

He said: “Dualling the A40 now achieves nothing. You create a two-lane car park up to Wolvercote Roundabout rather than a one-lane car park because there would be no greater traffic flow. It would be a total waste of money.”

A scheme to improve congestion, dubbed the ‘top hat’, was first proposed 20 years ago and would link the A40 by dual carriageway to the M40.

The approximately £150m road would loop north of Oxford from the A40 before the Wolvercote Roundabout to the M40 at Junction 8A.

Mr Rose said 20,000 to 30,000 homes would need to be built across Oxfordshire to fund the development.

But Witney West county councillor Steve Hayward, who lives in the town, said he would be happy for Witney’s population to grow from about 30,000 to 60,000 over the next 25 years if it meant better infra-structure. He added: “High house prices are putting people off from coming to the area and if you build enough homes the prices will come down.

“If we want to attract more jobs to the area then Witney has to keep on growing and when new homes are built money can be spent on infrastructure improvements.”

The county council is now considering linking the A40 and A44 using funds from the Northern Gateway development to bypass the Wolvercote Roundabout.

Warwick Robinson, district council cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “One of the reasons why West Oxfordshire has relatively lower growth than other districts is because of the constraints of the A40.

“If the A40 were suddenly to be dualled and all the problems taken out that would make West Oxfordshire, particularly Witney and Carterton, much more susceptible to hugely greater development than we are looking at.”

The Oxford Mail asked all district and city councils to list the number of homes in planning or development stage.

Oxford City Council said 2,645 homes are being planned or developed, West Oxfordshire 1,690, Cherwell 4,978, South Oxfordshire 4,816 and Vale of White Horse 4,898.

Several residents used a public consultation into West Oxfordshire District Council’s core development strategy to call for improvements to the A40 between Witney and Oxford.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:09am Sat 16 Feb 13

Mrs Arcanum says...

Agree that it is pointless to do much with the A40 until the Wolvercote Roundabout congestion is solved. However, scaremongering as a reason for doing nothing at all does not help either.
Agree that it is pointless to do much with the A40 until the Wolvercote Roundabout congestion is solved. However, scaremongering as a reason for doing nothing at all does not help either. Mrs Arcanum
  • Score: 0

10:34am Sat 16 Feb 13

BigAlBiker says...

Mrs Arcanum wrote:
Agree that it is pointless to do much with the A40 until the Wolvercote Roundabout congestion is solved. However, scaremongering as a reason for doing nothing at all does not help either.
I also agree, it's called a total package in which they should investigate enabling road users to both get into and out of Oxford without sitting still for minutes on end wasting fuel and time.

Wolvercote roundabout is only a botleneck coming into work, a dual carriageway from there to Witney would help when going home IF they sorted out Cassington lights, Eynsham roundabout and those stupid lights by the Evenlode, all designed to STOP traffic......crazy.
[quote][p][bold]Mrs Arcanum[/bold] wrote: Agree that it is pointless to do much with the A40 until the Wolvercote Roundabout congestion is solved. However, scaremongering as a reason for doing nothing at all does not help either.[/p][/quote]I also agree, it's called a total package in which they should investigate enabling road users to both get into and out of Oxford without sitting still for minutes on end wasting fuel and time. Wolvercote roundabout is only a botleneck coming into work, a dual carriageway from there to Witney would help when going home IF they sorted out Cassington lights, Eynsham roundabout and those stupid lights by the Evenlode, all designed to STOP traffic......crazy. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 1

11:06am Sat 16 Feb 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

"Rodney Rose said thousands more homes would need to be built to finance improvements. "
Wrong. Motorsts pay twenty times more tax than is spent on the roads the surplus going to what Cameron calls "Overseas Aid" ("thanks for the Mercs boss, say the "aid consultants") plus the interest on the loans to fund the aggressive welfarism introduced by the Looney Toons mob 97-2010
"Rodney Rose said thousands more homes would need to be built to finance improvements. " Wrong. Motorsts pay twenty times more tax than is spent on the roads the surplus going to what Cameron calls "Overseas Aid" ("thanks for the Mercs boss, say the "aid consultants") plus the interest on the loans to fund the aggressive welfarism introduced by the Looney Toons mob 97-2010 Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -1

11:27am Sat 16 Feb 13

xjohnx says...

Build more housing now. Its sheer stupidity to keep houses inshort supply.
Roads wil;l have to follow.
Build more housing now. Its sheer stupidity to keep houses inshort supply. Roads wil;l have to follow. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Sat 16 Feb 13

BigAlBiker says...

xjohnx wrote:
Build more housing now. Its sheer stupidity to keep houses inshort supply.
Roads wil;l have to follow.
No, the infrastructure will not support more houses, the schools won't cope, parking is already a problem, the situation would simply get worse, the transport system needs upgrading before anything else.
[quote][p][bold]xjohnx[/bold] wrote: Build more housing now. Its sheer stupidity to keep houses inshort supply. Roads wil;l have to follow.[/p][/quote]No, the infrastructure will not support more houses, the schools won't cope, parking is already a problem, the situation would simply get worse, the transport system needs upgrading before anything else. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

You don't need to build a road, just need to open a railway line from Oxford to Witney/Carterton.

That would take 1000s of cars off the road every single day.

There will of course be the angst ridden hand ringers who will point out that around 20% of the former rail trackbed has been built over.

But then 0% of the land that will be used to widen the road currently has a road on it.
You don't need to build a road, just need to open a railway line from Oxford to Witney/Carterton. That would take 1000s of cars off the road every single day. There will of course be the angst ridden hand ringers who will point out that around 20% of the former rail trackbed has been built over. But then 0% of the land that will be used to widen the road currently has a road on it. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

4:22pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Dastroll says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
"Rodney Rose said thousands more homes would need to be built to finance improvements. "
Wrong. Motorsts pay twenty times more tax than is spent on the roads the surplus going to what Cameron calls "Overseas Aid" ("thanks for the Mercs boss, say the "aid consultants") plus the interest on the loans to fund the aggressive welfarism introduced by the Looney Toons mob 97-2010
what are you going on about?
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: "Rodney Rose said thousands more homes would need to be built to finance improvements. " Wrong. Motorsts pay twenty times more tax than is spent on the roads the surplus going to what Cameron calls "Overseas Aid" ("thanks for the Mercs boss, say the "aid consultants") plus the interest on the loans to fund the aggressive welfarism introduced by the Looney Toons mob 97-2010[/p][/quote]what are you going on about? Dastroll
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Sun 17 Feb 13

amber leaf says...

cant see why they could not put a tram system in running alone the a40 with 2 park and rind style hubs ether end with express trams in the morning and evening rush hours but it would prob cost far to much money .....
cant see why they could not put a tram system in running alone the a40 with 2 park and rind style hubs ether end with express trams in the morning and evening rush hours but it would prob cost far to much money ..... amber leaf
  • Score: 0

8:27am Mon 18 Feb 13

Gonzo44 says...

God help us, with people like Rodney Rose in charge there is no hope - Threatening is way out of line - He needs a reality check by sitting in the endless queues everyday - or go and speak to people in Long Hanborough and Bladon about the massive increase of traffic with people avoiding the A40.
GET A GRIP!!!!!
God help us, with people like Rodney Rose in charge there is no hope - Threatening is way out of line - He needs a reality check by sitting in the endless queues everyday - or go and speak to people in Long Hanborough and Bladon about the massive increase of traffic with people avoiding the A40. GET A GRIP!!!!! Gonzo44
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Mon 18 Feb 13

nickwilcock says...

"You don't need to build a road, just need to open a railway line from Oxford to Witney/Carterton.

That would take 1000s of cars off the road every single day."

'Just' open a railway line, eh?

Where will you build the stations and who will pay for them?

Who do you expect to build and maintain the proposed line?

Who do you propose would operate the service?

What frequency of trains would you consider acceptable?


Building a Park and Ride in the triangle between the A40, B4449 and Cassington Road to the east of Eynsham, with a direct link to the Cotswold Line to Oxford, togther with a couple of 'halts' might be feasible, but that's about the limit.

But that'd only suit people who don't want to travel beyond Oxford. To travel to London from Witney, it'd still be easier / cheaper / quicker to drive to Didcot, where there's ample car parking at the station.
"You don't need to build a road, just need to open a railway line from Oxford to Witney/Carterton. That would take 1000s of cars off the road every single day." 'Just' open a railway line, eh? Where will you build the stations and who will pay for them? Who do you expect to build and maintain the proposed line? Who do you propose would operate the service? What frequency of trains would you consider acceptable? Building a Park and Ride in the triangle between the A40, B4449 and Cassington Road to the east of Eynsham, with a direct link to the Cotswold Line to Oxford, togther with a couple of 'halts' might be feasible, but that's about the limit. But that'd only suit people who don't want to travel beyond Oxford. To travel to London from Witney, it'd still be easier / cheaper / quicker to drive to Didcot, where there's ample car parking at the station. nickwilcock
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Tue 19 Feb 13

bobbylashley says...

What a plonker stood in the middle of the road. He was lucky a driver wasnt distracted whilst he had his photo taken.If thats how much common sense he has we have little hope.
What a plonker stood in the middle of the road. He was lucky a driver wasnt distracted whilst he had his photo taken.If thats how much common sense he has we have little hope. bobbylashley
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree