HiF1 Didcot Relief Road: the Expressway by Stealth?
7th February 2022
CPRE Oxfordshire is concerned that, despite the cancellation of the Oxfordshire Expressway, this proposed road follows the same ‘south of Oxford’ route and will create a need for road improvements between the A4074 to the M40.
There are also concerns that a new road planned from Milton, Didcot to Clifton Hampden threatens to increase traffic and cause environmental issues.
The road will link the A34 at Milton, with the villages Appleford, Sutton Courtenay and Culham, linking to the B4015 at Clifton Hampden and ultimately the A4074 at the Golden Balls Roundabout.
The road proposal is now over 6 years old and predates the acknowledgement of a Climate Emergency and UK commitments to deliver a zero-carbon economy. Equally, post-pandemic working patterns have reduced many peak hours traffic pressures. A new road will have an inevitable impact on CO2 emissions, air pollution and biodiversity along the route.
Other highway plans need to be taken into consideration alongside this proposal. Oxfordshire County Council are currently working on a new Local Transport and Connectivity Plan which is, conversely, focusing on reducing traffic and active transport such as walking and cycling. Equally while this road plan seems to accommodate unlimited traffic towards Oxford, the county council are looking at restraining traffic around the Golden Balls roundabout.
Read and comment on the planning application on the Oxfordshire County Council website. The website indicates that the deadline has passed, in fact comments are still being accepted.