AN £18m ‘diamond interchange’ on the A34 at Lodge Hill, near Abingdon, will not fall through, the county council leader has promised.

Ian Hudspeth said it sounded feasible that the project could even be completed in three years after the Government pledged £9.43m earlier this week.

Campaigners fear traffic chaos will ensue if the new junction is not completed before the first of 950 homes are built in north Abingdon. Outline plans for the scheme were approved by Vale of White Horse District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday night despite calls from residents it should be put on hold until the interchange was completed.

Mr Hudspeth, speaking to the Oxford Mail yesterday, was reluctant to put a time limit on the diamond interchange project but agreed three years ‘sounds feasible’.

To anyone concerned about the Government backtracking on its promise, he asserted: “It won’t fall through. A lot of people are being very disingenuous saying that. The Government has committed to it. When I first became a cabinet member, this was one of the ambitions residents in Abingdon wanted. It’s something that’s been required for a long time and we want to make sure it’s delivered as quickly as possible.”

The scheme would see south-facing slip roads built to cater for the hundreds of extra drivers expected to and from North Abingdon.

The Vale’s planning committee imposed a condition that no more than 150 homes could occupied before written confirmation of government funding for the slip roads.