Press release – immediate use

Expressway by stealth? – Major new roads planned across south Oxfordshire

The countryside across south Oxfordshire is facing even more pressure as new road schemes are planned.

VoWH/SODC Transport Schemes to 2035 ORAA graphic

National Highways, which manages the A34 and M40, is looking at increased traffic levels from the controversial Chalgrove Airfield housing proposal.  They have requested junctions on the A34 and M40 to be included in the Chalgrove Airfield Transport Assessment (1) This has raised anger that the 3,400 home site will link to a major new outer southern bypass of Oxford between the A34 at Milton & Didcot and M40 Junction 6 and Junction 7.  This was the likely route of the Expressway road scheme rejected four years ago.(2)

Planned roads across south Oxfordshire between A34 and M40 include:

1.    Bypasses of Abingdon & Clifton Hampden (HIF1)

2.    Bypasses of Chiselhampton, Stadhampton and Cuxham (Chalgrove Airfield)

3.    Conversion of the A415/A4074 (Golden Balls) junction to multi-level (Chalgrove Airfield)

4.    “Improvement” of the B4015 between A4074 and Chislehampton (Chalgrove Airfield)

5.    Bypass at Benson under construction (Chalgrove Airfield)

6.    Bypass at Watlington currently in planning (Chalgrove Airfield)

If all these schemes go ahead, they would lead to a major new road by stealth between the A34 and M40 Junctions 6 & 7 and a transformation of the rural south of Oxfordshire. 

Traffic modelling by Oxfordshire County Council of all planned new development and transport schemes up to 2035 shows the potential for traffic to divert off the M40 onto proposed new roads in south Oxfordshire. (3)

Chris Church co-chair of ORAA said:

“Each of these proposed new road schemes are claimed to “relieve” local traffic, but planners are clearly allowing for more and more cars on our roads.  One outcome could be the emergence of new ‘rat runs’ between the A34 and M40 Junctions 6 & 7. The county council’s traffic modelling suggest that this could draw traffic off the M40 onto our disintegrating local roads.

This push for increased traffic, noise and pollution would have devastating consequences for our countryside and completely undermines our agreed local transport plan.  Our councils need to take a long hard look at their ‘business as usual’ approach that is failing to protect our countryside and our communities.”

This week ORAA is holding a discussion with national and local experts to look at how new development can work without the need for ever more new road schemes.  The event takes place at Brookes University on March 20th.

Contact:   Chris Church T:07710 409590

Notes to Editors

1.           National Highways consultation response to the Scoping Report for Environmental Impact Assessment on Chalgrove Airfield (planning application P24/S0685/SCO) : “We were previously involved in the early engagement on the Chalgrove site. We welcome further engagement as the proposal is being developed to ensure SRN, in particular A34 and M40 junctions 6 and 7 are included in any forthcoming Transport Assessment, as well as any cumulative impact of all committed developments up to completion of the Chalgrove Airfield development (2045). “

2. The Draft Development Framework for Chalgrove Airfield agreed between Homes England and South Oxfordshire District Council is the subject of ongoing evolution and further engagement. Currently 3.400 homes are intended on the site and five offsite bypasses to increase road capacity.  Offsite highway works for the Chalgrove development include:  ‘Stadhampton/ Chiselhampton Bypass’ (covering both Stadhampton and Chiselhampton villages), ‘Cuxham bypass’ covering Cuxham village, near Chalgrove Airfield, South Oxfordshire, a bypass at Watlington (Planning application R3.0010/24) and a bypass at Benson (under construction).

3.           “In the evening peak hour along the M40/A40 corridor, the model suggests a slight reduction in trips along the M40/A40 corridor. This is likely to be related to the incorporation of the Stadhampton and Watlington bypasses on the B480, with a certain percentage of traffic potentially diverted from the M40.” Oxfordshire County Council traffic modelling of planned development to 2035 using OCC’s Oxfordshire Strategic Model