Opposition mounts over Banbury M40 services plan

J11 will only get busier if services are built
J11 will only get busier if services are built

Plans by Euro Garages to build an employment hub, including a service station, hotel and warehouses at Banbury’s Junction 11 are receiving mounting opposition.

There are just six days for the public to comment about the development on Cherwell District Council’s planning application website.

First submitted in May the plans have met strong opposition from residents of the villages east of the M40 who fear the added traffic flow created by the service station and employment hub will push Banbury’s already struggling road system beyond breaking point.

In the most recent Euro Garage application (17/01044F) their traffic analysis concludes there will be no severe impact on Banbury traffic.

Chacombe resident Mike Murray, however, has crunched the numbers supplied by the Department for Transport (DfT) relating to traffic flow and has reached a very different conclusion.

Mike said: “The daily M40 flow is 84,225 vehicles (DfT figures, using average of last counted north and south flows).

“Assuming a six per cent turn in rate, (from Euro Garage’s technical report) this means 5,053 vehicles from the motorway will use the services daily.

“If we consider just this service station traffic, this would mean 10,106 extra traffic movements daily on Junction 11 and the A361.

“Adding these to the current A361 to J11 flow of 7,734 per day (DfT figures) equals a total of 17,840 daily movements, an increase of 131 per cent on current traffic volumes on this stretch. This does not include movement of vehicles related to the proposed new hotel, warehouse and offices.”

Further consternation about the plan has been the nature and timing of its resubmittance.

Chacombe resident Alex Fisher OBE, a retired airline pilot who was flight technical manager at British Airways, said: “The new traffic analysis submitted at the end of November, did nothing, as many others have said, to answer the principal objections raised against this development from the very start (failure to comply with the county plan, no demonstrated need for an additional service area, and additional traffic using the A361 and the Junction 11 roundabout).

“The long analysis, doubtless in part designed to 
intimidate non specialists, makes several claims about the small impact of the proposal, but at least one claim does not withstand scrutiny, which calls the validity of the entire simulation into question.

He added: “Paragraph 15 says that ‘the northern and southern circulatory links [of J11], whilst these are forecast to operate over 90 per cent during the worst case 2021 AM and PM peak periods, this is considered acceptable for the following reasons: the entire queues clear within each [traffic light] cycle.’

He adds: “Anyone who uses J11 will have noticed, these queues regularly fail to clear within one cycle now, morning and afternoon, never mind in 2021.”

Opposition has also come from Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce who reiterated their stance, saying: “We urge the council not to grant planning permission in this case, without first making provision for the long term traffic and commercial needs of the town.”

To view plan 17/01044/F visit www.cherwell.gov.uk.