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Land offered for A40 park-and-ride centre at Eynsham
THE idea of creating a park-and-ride centre at Eynsham, to cut traffic into Oxford, was first put forward four years ago, a land agent has revealed.
Smiths Gore, which has an office at Worton Park, near Cassington, first wrote to West Oxfordshire District Council in 2009 suggesting a site on land next to the Eysham roundabout on the A40 as part of the consultation process on the council’s draft Local Plan.
The document, once finalised, will form a blueprint for the future development of the area.
Smiths Gore has written to the council on three occasions about the proposal.
Harry St John, who acts as an agent for the farmland owned by Ravendrive Ltd, next to the roundabout, said he had been surprised to hear that Oxfordshire County Council was now considering a similar scheme.
The county council last month said it could help ease possible traffic problems in connection with the proposed Northern Gateway housing and business development near Wolvercote, on the edge of Oxford.
It said Eynsham was a possible location for a park-and-ride centre to allow drivers to switch to buses for journeys into and out of the city.
The Northern Gateway development would involve building between 200 and 500 homes on land between Wolvercote and the A34.
It would also provide business units with the potential to create 3,000 jobs.
Mr St John said: “It’s strange, as we have been suggesting this as far back as 2009 and the county and district councils appear to have taken no notice. It’s funny to see that the penny now seems to have dropped.
“We have been making representations as part of the draft Local Plan and each time there has been an opportunity to do so, we have suggested this site.”
Mr St John said he believed the site could provide spaces for 1,500 cars and said that a dedicated bus lane on the A40 could help to relieve traffic congestion.
He added: “At the moment the plans don’t seem to have got so far as looking for actual sites. I have contacted the county council but I have not heard back yet.”
In a letter sent to the district council in December last year, Mr St John said: “We have put forward our client’s land for residential/ mixed development and park-and-ride facility and repeat the request that it be included in your SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availabilty Assessment) which we understand will come out in the new year.”
The county council’s cabinet member for transport, David Nimmo Smith, said it was too early to look at possible sites.
He said: “We will not be able to make a definite plan until funds have been identified.
“It could be that funding for a park-and-ride could come in a similar way as it did for the one on the A41 in Bicester, where the Bicester Village retail park helped out.
“But everything at the moment is still quite up in the air and we’re trying to get the Northern Gateway sorted out first.”
West Oxfordshire District Council spokesman Carys Davies said: “The representations made as part of the draft Local Plan are being looked at by officers and responses will be published in the new year.”
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