WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 3rd August 2022

A new transport plan - will it achieve anything?

The latest Oxfordshire Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP5) was approved at the County Council meeting recently.

This is the latest transport plan and includes an update on the delivery against the previous Transport Plan published at the end of 2015.

One of the items included in the previous plan was:

‘delivering improvements along the A417 corridor to address congestion, safety and the conflict between the volume of traffic, east-west travel, and access to the villages along this route.
‘Elements of the strategy include junction improvements, bus stop infrastructure, footpath and cycleway improvements and speed limit reviews.’

Now 7 years since that plan was approved, the new report provides a status update:
‘No change - the updated area strategy will consider this further’ – in other words, nothing has been done.

Other items from 2015 refer to the planned changes to Featherbed Lane and Frilford lights and report that:
‘Oxfordshire County Council are currently at optioneering stage and are appraising potential interventions...

‘Preferred options are to be identified within Options Assessment Reports due for completion in March 2022.’

It’s now August and no mention of any works on Featherbed Lane or Frilford Lights are listed in any County Council Papers.

So I won’t be holding my breath for any new initiatives to improve any transport networks in this area except the Wantage Eastern relief Road (funded by developers and time-limited government grants).

The new plan aims to deliver a net-zero Oxfordshire transport and travel system that enables the county to thrive whilst protecting the environment and making Oxfordshire a better place to live for all residents.

It proposes to achieve this by reducing the need to travel, discouraging individual private vehicle journeys and making walking, cycling, public and shared transport the natural first choice.

As usual the strategy is geared towards Oxford and the other larger conurbations.

There should be a local area strategy for this area but I note that the ‘area’ now includes Didcot, Henley, Wallingford, Wantage, Abingdon, Thame and Faringdon and will consider how we can improve journeys on key corridors between towns.

Given that nothing has happened on Featherbed Lane or the Frilford junction in the last seven years, how long will any changes take?

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