The bottom line? More information required.
Sustainable Witney is worried about the quality of decision making on such an important topic and is requesting more information to come to an informed decision.
You may wish to do the same. You have until Sunday 8th November to respond to the consultation.
Sustainable Witney’s response in full:
FAO: Oxfordshire County Council
Response to Investing in the A40 Consultation 6 Nov 2015
Sustainable Witney strongly supports further investigation into the train and tram options for relieving congestion along the A40 Corridor.
Oxfordshire County Council has raised some interesting options for discussion, but has not provided enough information to make an informed decision on what will be the best longterm solution. No figures are given for the potential of each option to move people from their origins to their destinations in the future. Also, the consultation might be more accurately titled “Investing in the A40 Corridor” rather than just the A-road itself.
Sustainable Witney is concerned that OCC commissioned an engineering feasibility study into a dual carriageway between Witney and Oxford without properly investigating the potential of the other options too. This gives the impression that OCC has already decided what the longterm solution will be.
Sustainable Witney is dismayed that West Oxfordshire District Council has decided to support the dual carriageway as the longterm solution while stating that it does not support the train or tram options at all. There simply is not enough information at this stage to form such a conclusion. Again, it gives the impression that the longterm solution has already been chosen.
OCC and WODC recently backed a road solution in Witney which has cost the county and the district dearly in terms of legal costs, lost funding, lost officer time, and a depressing delay in resolving congestion within the town. We desperately need better, rigorous, evidence based decision making in the future.
The West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 gives anticipated housing delivery in the Witney and Carterton areas as 3,685 and 2,571 respectively.
- What effect will that have on congestion in the towns themselves?
- What effect would a dual carriageway east of Witney have on travel behaviour within those areas?
- What effect could a light rail system have on travel behaviour within the towns and to Oxford and beyond?
- What are the public health implications (something the district council is now responsible for) of locking the communities along the A40 corridor into a future of road based travel?
We are grateful to OCC for opening this conversation, now please let us have a thorough discussion.
Chair, Sustainable Witney