NEW housing in Abingdon could pay for the Lodge Hill A34 junction to be opened to southbound traffic, it has been suggested.

Vale of White Horse District Council wants to build 610 new homes in North Abingdon, which could bring forward £20m in developer contributions to infrastructure.

Abingdon Town Council leader Sandy Lovatt said the new homes could add 900 cars to already “horrendous” traffic congestion in the town, but that developers behind the scheme could also pay for the £12m conversion of Lodge Hill to a diamond interchange.

Mr Lovatt said: “Everyone who wants to go south on the A34 has to go through town and people already find it difficult to get onto Drayton Road and Dunmore Road.

“If you have 610 houses with approximately one-and-a-half cars per house, that is 900 cars. Put them nose-to-tail and that is one long traffic jam.”

But, he added: “One of the possible opportunities this presents is to raise money to open up Lodge Hill.”

Mr Lovatt estimated the road scheme, supported by Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood, would cost £10m to £12m.

Vale of White Horse District Council wants to build 410 houses between Dunmore Road and the A34 by Tilsley Park and another 200 south-west of the park by 2031.

Nigel Northcott, manager of the Porch Steppin’ Stone homeless drop-in centre in East Oxford, who lives in North Abingdon, said that improving Lodge Hill would be the “bare essential” needed to mitigate the traffic impact of 610 homes.

The Vale council has proposed the two Abingdon estates, along with sites for some 9,000 other homes, in its draft Local Plan for Development until 2031.

Specifically, the plan states the sites will include contributions for the Lodge Hill A34 junction but does not state how much could be requested in funding.