Call for new road to cure town centre traffic woes

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Warnings about potential chaos caused by funnelling through traffic over Bridge Street have been made by Banbury’s Civic Society.

The group is calling on Banburyshire residents to fight plans to divert traffic away from South Bar and North Bar to the inner relief road.

The idea is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s transport plan for 2015-2026 and consultation ends on April 2.

Society chairman Rob Kinchin-Smith said: “Between 2015-2026 the new housing growth means the population of Banbury will rise by 30 per cent.

“It is crazy to send much of the current traffic plus a third more down into an area that already socially cuts the town in half with the shopping area on one side and the railway station and Grimsbury on the other.”

The county council’s plan is to encourage traffic flow down Upper Windsor Street using signage and deterrents in other areas – possibly road humps.

Designers want to upgrade Bankside so traffic leaves the Oxford Road at the flyover and flows down to the same artery.

Also in the county council proposals is a south-west link from the Bodicote flyover to the Bloxham Road, west of Salt Way, to be delivered with up to 2,000 homes. It also proposes a new road, running parallel with the M40 on the east side of the motorway, crossing a new bridge and giving lorries access to the proposed Central M40 industrial estate south of junction 11.

The Civic Society says the county has listened to its calls for a new crossing over the railway from the upgraded Bankside via the Tramway estate, but Mr Kinchin-Smith said: “We will strongly oppose the proposal to route more traffic through the town centre at the Bridge Street crossroads. It would be intolerable and unsustainable.”

Mr Kinchin-Smith urged residents to respond to the consultation so the county council realises Banbury matters as much as favoured ambitions for the A34 and bus tunnels in Oxford.

To take part in the consultation go to https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/CO_LTP4/consultationHome