Plans to reduce traffic in Witney town centre
Oxfordshire County Council is to submit a planning application for a new £16.4m road to ease traffic congestion in Witney.
The Cogges Link Road would connect Witan Way (south of Witney town centre) to the B4022 at Oxford Hill at the junction with Jubilee Way and would run around the south and east of Cogges.
Planning permission was granted in 1997 but the scheme was not started within the required period of the permission due to funding issues. This is not now the case as the county council holds all the funds necessary to complete the scheme. The county council's Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Ian Hudspeth, has approved the submission of a planning application.
The lack of river crossings within Witney is a major cause of town centre traffic congestion, particularly on Bridge Street, which is used by around 30,000 vehicles every day. Pressure on the town's road network continues to increase.
The area that would be affected by the new road is mostly open land to the south and east of Cogges. It is mainly agricultural with some public open space made up of the country park between the two branches of the Windrush and a smaller area immediately to the east of the Stanton Harcourt Road between Cogges and the A40.
A replacement area for the lost public open space would be provided to the north east between Cogges estate and the new road. Provisions to mitigate the loss of country park are also included in the scheme proposals.
The Cogges Link Road would be a single lane two way road with a 40mph speed limit. There would be a three metre wide footway and cycleway on the north side between Witan Way and the Stanton Harcourt Road linking the town to Cogges Estate.
Studies showed that the Cogges Link Road was one of only two possible ways of reducing traffic in Witney town centre. The other option was an improved Shores Green interchange. However, the Cogges Link Road option was found to be the best because it carries a significantly greater proportion of town centre traffic that would otherwise use Bridge Street.
A detailed flood risk assessment has now been completed which indicates that the chosen route does not impact on the flood plain of the Windrush under stringent legal requirements.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "I have given the go-ahead for the submission of a new planning application for the Cogges Link Road.
"This has been a real saga and I know that many local people are keen to see action to relieve traffic in Witney. I hope that a renewed planning permission will be a step in the right direction in terms of reaching solutions."
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