A key issue for the voters of West Oxfordshire is the state of our infrastructure. After decades of neglect, caused by Tory government austerity and Tory County Council ineptitude, our roads are creaking. You only have to cross the border from Oxfordshire to Gloucestershire to see and feel just how badly Oxfordshire County Council operates. In some places there is more pothole than road.
As your MP, Charlotte Hoagland will lobby tirelessly for our roads to be improved and for other ways of getting around to be prioritised.
The A40 is an obvious problem in West Oxfordshire. It spends a lot of time at a standstill. It is both the way that residents get to Oxford and its hospitals and the main road from the west to London, the Midlands and the South.
Thousands of new houses are due to be built near to the A40, in Eynsham, Witney, Hanborough and elsewhere. The County’s suggestion is to add a few miles of dual carriageway from Witney to Eynsham, to build a new roundabout and a Park and Ride at Eynsham, and to build a bus lane – in one direction only – from Eynsham to Dukes Cut, where it will end. Residents and Lib Dem councillors, have been telling the County that it is a waste of money and won’t work. It may even make the A40 worse as people get in their cars to drive to the Park and Ride.
Robert Courts approves of the County’s wasteful £150m A40 plans.
Charlotte knows that this is an appalling waste of money.
The ways to improve transport in West Oxfordshire are to:
- Build a light rail link from Carterton and Witney to Oxford
- Dual the railway from Oxford to Charlbury and make it easier for people to get to the stations
- Encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes by making the roads safe – for instance with proper bike lanes from Eynsham to Botley and to Hanborough Station, and from Hanborough to Woodstock.
- Restore bus services like the No 11 to the villages that currently have no buses.
- Repair the roads we currently have so they are fit to use.
- Make sure that new houses are only built once the infrastructure is available to support them.
And these moves will make life easier for car drivers too, by easing congestion.
In the middle of a climate crisis, building roads is ridiculous. And it won’t even work to make the lives of the people of West Oxfordshire better.
District Councillor Eynsham, Cassington and South Leigh Ward.