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Bid to tackle Cutteslowe jams goes on
County Hall says its response to having its plans to improve Cutteslowe Roundabout thrown out will be to work on an altogether bigger and more costly package of congestion-busting measures.
The council had hoped to secure £3.7m in government funding to pay for new lanes and traffic lights to address traffic snarl-ups at the roundabout.
But it was forced to abandon its bid after failing to win backing from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which called on the county council to produce “a more credible” answer to the problems.
The council says it is now focusing on “a more comprehensive solution” which will involve a new link road connecting the A40 and the A44 to take traffic away from the Wolvercote Roundabout – although the source of funding is still far from certain.
The need for major improvements has become more pressing by the proposed Northern Gateway scheme, which includes plans for more than 200 homes alongside space to create up to 3,000 jobs on a site near Peartree.
County council deputy leader Rodney Rose said: “Work is on-going to find a solution to congestion problems at the Northern Gateway, But we had thought it helpful to put forward a short-term solution to address some of the issues at Cutteslowe Roundabout.
“We respect the LEP position in that they would prefer to support a more comprehensive solution.”
The LEP’s support had been essential if the Cutteslowe Roundabout was to attract a share of the £170m being made available to local councils to combat congestion.
The partnership said the scheme would not achieve its goal.
Proposals for a new relief road at Pear Tree connecting the A40 and A44 had been included as part of Oxford’s bid to gain City Deals status, which holds out the prospect of additional transport funding from central government and private funding.
Residents living nearby are disappointed the bid for roundabout improvements was not being progressed. Former journalist Richard Davy, 82, from Hamilton Road, North Oxford, said: “Putting traffic lights on Cutteslowe roundabout would have been a good interim solution.”
The LEP, however, has backed the county council’s bid for money under the Pinch Point scheme for £11m to turn the Milton Interchange near Didcot into a hamburger roundabout.
The scheme, which would also add new slip roads, is designed to cut congestion on the A34, boost the economy and create jobs in the Science Vale Enterprise Zone.”.
Mr Price said: “The issue of congestion in the area of Northern Gateway is critical to the future development of that area.
“Our view was that the proposed scheme requires further development if it is to be successful in addressing the problem of congestion on this part of the A40.”