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7:20am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Leader
But with a planning inquiry fast approaching, the prospect of the council having to substantially modify the scheme will hardly win over its critics.
The Town Hall looks to have failed in its attempt to persuade the county council to sign up to a 40mph speed limit on the ring road north of the Green Road roundabout.
If, as now seems likely that the speed limit is set at 50mph or above, it will make nonsense of the ‘big idea’ of transforming a busy section of the ring road into an urban boulevard.
What we will be left with is a situation likely to be similar to the A34 at Botley, with cars ignoring 50mph limits as they travel past ugly noise barriers on the dual carriageway.
Suddenly, the new homes built facing on to the A40 at West Barton would be a less attractive proposition, with residents faced with the worst of all worlds.
It is late in the day for such doubts to arise about the whole vision for West Barton and its relationship with the ring road.
The prospect of Ruskin Fields again coming into the equation will bring further uncertainty.
The city council is right that West Barton represents a one-off opportunity for the city.
But far too much is at stake for Oxford’s whole transport system — and for the people who will end up living there — to get it wrong.