Witney to get improved A40 junction as part of action to tackle county jams

Landowner James Mawle pictured at Shores Green on the A40

Landowner James Mawle pictured at Shores Green on the A40

First published in News Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A SERIES of transport plans across Oxfordshire, including long-awaited action to tackle jams in Witney, have been approved by county council leaders.

But after the planswereapproved yesterday, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council criticised a Witney landowner for holding up long-awaited work to rid the town of congestion.

Ian Hudspeth’s comments came as the council approved transport strategies for five different parts of the county.

The county council’s cabinet approved updates to the local transport plans for Banbury, Carterton, Bicester, Science Vale and Witney.

Included in the plans for Witney is the long-awaited Shores Green scheme, which would involve creating new slip roads along the A40.

But Mr Hudspeth said he had no idea when work on the scheme might start because it depends on financial contributions relating to a planning application which he claims James Mawle, who owns land needed for the scheme, has said he would submit.

He said: “Until a planning application is in we won’t be able to consider the funding of the scheme.

There is also the issue of the compulsory purchase orders.

“This is the same person that was going to give the money for the Cogges Link Road scheme to the Shores Green scheme but he has not delivered on the promises he has made.

“We cannot ask people to put in planning applications. We are not a property developer.

“It is very frustrating because the Cogges Link Road would be open by now.

“The residents of Witney are the ones I feel sorry for.”

The county council had hoped to build the £20m link road to cut congestion and traffic pollution in the town centre.

But after a lengthy campaign against the scheme, the Secretary of State for Transport rejected the scheme in 2012 and gave her backing to the Shores Green proposals.

The county council’s transport strategy for Witney now includes the Shores Green scheme for westfacing slip roads and improvements to the B4022 Oxford Hill junction with Jubilee Way and Cogges Hill Road.

David Condon, who campaigned against the Cogges Link Road, said: “I am delighted that the county councilhasat last decided to get the wheels in motion.

“We want it to happen as soon as possible. The Shores Green scheme is absolutely vital for Witney.”

County councillor for Witney South and Central Laura Price said: “This is crucial for people in Witney because they can see their town growing and no infrastructure coming up to support it.”

Strategies for Witney, Carterton, Science Vale, Banbury and Bicester were approved at yesterday’s meeting at County Hall.

They include plans for improvements at the Milton and Chilton interchanges on the A34, a perimetre route around Bicester and a number of road improvement schemes in Banbury.

The Oxford Mail contacted James Mawle but he did not respond.

Comments (13)

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3:08pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Rich! says...

Can someone explain how improving access to the A40 is going to reduce the traffic jams? The worst jam of the lot is every morning on the A40, from Oxford Hill onwards. Surely making it easier to get to the A40 carpark can only increase the number of people sitting outside Barnard Gate between 6 and 9am.
Can someone explain how improving access to the A40 is going to reduce the traffic jams? The worst jam of the lot is every morning on the A40, from Oxford Hill onwards. Surely making it easier to get to the A40 carpark can only increase the number of people sitting outside Barnard Gate between 6 and 9am. Rich!
  • Score: -4

4:11pm Wed 19 Mar 14

David Condon says...

".....now includes the Shores Green scheme for westfacing slip roads...."
Do keep up Rich.
".....now includes the Shores Green scheme for westfacing slip roads...." Do keep up Rich. David Condon
  • Score: 2

4:56pm Wed 19 Mar 14

nickwilcock says...

Dear Leader Kim Jong Ian knows only too well where James Mawle stands on this and the offers his consortium have made to OCC.

Being so critical without giving Mr Mawle sufficient opportunity to respond (this news only broke last night) is pretty unfair - the Dear Leader really knows how to win friends and influence.......

And it really is time he woke up to the fact that the money wasted on the Cogges Bypass white elephant enquiry could have paid for the SGSR in its entirety. OCC, you lost. Now suck it up and move on!
Dear Leader Kim Jong Ian knows only too well where James Mawle stands on this and the offers his consortium have made to OCC. Being so critical without giving Mr Mawle sufficient opportunity to respond (this news only broke last night) is pretty unfair - the Dear Leader really knows how to win friends and influence....... And it really is time he woke up to the fact that the money wasted on the Cogges Bypass white elephant enquiry could have paid for the SGSR in its entirety. OCC, you lost. Now suck it up and move on! nickwilcock
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Wed 19 Mar 14

King Joke says...

James Mawle was given an opportunity to respond in the paper and opted not to take it. If you think Ian Hudspeth is left wing it begs the question where you stand on the scale!
James Mawle was given an opportunity to respond in the paper and opted not to take it. If you think Ian Hudspeth is left wing it begs the question where you stand on the scale! King Joke
  • Score: 1

2:54am Thu 20 Mar 14

riman09 says...

Surely dualising the A40 all the way to Witney would be better for busting congestion?
Surely dualising the A40 all the way to Witney would be better for busting congestion? riman09
  • Score: 7

7:43am Thu 20 Mar 14

nickwilcock says...

Kim Jong Ian would tell you that dualling a highway encourages people to use it, so congestion wouldn't be significantly eased....

So the solution is to stick with the inadequate A40 from Barnard Gate to the M40, is it? Of course not. The tram/train fans support an alternative for local travel between Carterton, Witney, Eynsham and Oxford - but that still doesn't solve the A40 problems for those travelling to/from further afield. Neither will adding 10 miles to the journey with a new A40/A34 link to M40 J9.

Time to take another look at the 'Tin Hat' and a dual carriageway from M40 J8 to (at least) Asthall Barrow?
Kim Jong Ian would tell you that dualling a highway encourages people to use it, so congestion wouldn't be significantly eased.... So the solution is to stick with the inadequate A40 from Barnard Gate to the M40, is it? Of course not. The tram/train fans support an alternative for local travel between Carterton, Witney, Eynsham and Oxford - but that still doesn't solve the A40 problems for those travelling to/from further afield. Neither will adding 10 miles to the journey with a new A40/A34 link to M40 J9. Time to take another look at the 'Tin Hat' and a dual carriageway from M40 J8 to (at least) Asthall Barrow? nickwilcock
  • Score: 0

7:45am Thu 20 Mar 14

David Condon says...

Riman09 - The problem arises on arrival at the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts. Duelling the Witney to Oxford A40 won't change this. Access to the A34 before reaching Wolvercote would certainly help.
Riman09 - The problem arises on arrival at the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts. Duelling the Witney to Oxford A40 won't change this. Access to the A34 before reaching Wolvercote would certainly help. David Condon
  • Score: 5

3:25pm Thu 20 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Duelling the A40 would be very dangerous - all those swords and pistols at dawn!
Duelling the A40 would be very dangerous - all those swords and pistols at dawn! King Joke
  • Score: 3

7:56am Fri 21 Mar 14

richwitney says...

Anyone thinking that the Shores Green slip roads will make a jot of difference to the traffic problems in Witney is going to be very disappointed.

SGSR is the only white elephant here.
Anyone thinking that the Shores Green slip roads will make a jot of difference to the traffic problems in Witney is going to be very disappointed. SGSR is the only white elephant here. richwitney
  • Score: 3

1:46pm Sat 22 Mar 14

screwedbymawle says...

Yep. Mr Mawle thinks he is his own man even though he is somewhat misguided. He like to use the law as a weapon to get his own way which means he has to feather his own nest! I would like to say he is an evil genius but he is just a puppet for those that are. He will delay and delay to get the most money out of any deal without any concern for the communities affected. He should stay up north!
Yep. Mr Mawle thinks he is his own man even though he is somewhat misguided. He like to use the law as a weapon to get his own way which means he has to feather his own nest! I would like to say he is an evil genius but he is just a puppet for those that are. He will delay and delay to get the most money out of any deal without any concern for the communities affected. He should stay up north! screwedbymawle
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Sun 23 Mar 14

the wizard says...

David Condon wrote:
Riman09 - The problem arises on arrival at the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts. Duelling the Witney to Oxford A40 won't change this. Access to the A34 before reaching Wolvercote would certainly help.
Not as much as would make a significant difference. After spending some time myself watch who goes where, a very small proportion of traffic entering Wolvercote roundabout actual does end up on the A34.

Getting back to the relevant point in question it has now become difficult to ascertain which party is the worse, Mawle or OCC. It would seem they are both full of pomp. While Hudspeth and his predecessors are loath to actually plan ahead and do anything towards traffic management to ease congestion, Mawle is good at getting others to fight his battles for him while looking on very smugly and laughing all the way to the bank. The sooner his land is sold and he has disappeared once and for all down his plug hole the better it will be for all concerned, and guess what, the town will still be as congested as it is now, but a few land owning soul's will be significantly better off, won't they.
[quote][p][bold]David Condon[/bold] wrote: Riman09 - The problem arises on arrival at the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts. Duelling the Witney to Oxford A40 won't change this. Access to the A34 before reaching Wolvercote would certainly help.[/p][/quote]Not as much as would make a significant difference. After spending some time myself watch who goes where, a very small proportion of traffic entering Wolvercote roundabout actual does end up on the A34. Getting back to the relevant point in question it has now become difficult to ascertain which party is the worse, Mawle or OCC. It would seem they are both full of pomp. While Hudspeth and his predecessors are loath to actually plan ahead and do anything towards traffic management to ease congestion, Mawle is good at getting others to fight his battles for him while looking on very smugly and laughing all the way to the bank. The sooner his land is sold and he has disappeared once and for all down his plug hole the better it will be for all concerned, and guess what, the town will still be as congested as it is now, but a few land owning soul's will be significantly better off, won't they. the wizard
  • Score: 1

2:51pm Sun 23 Mar 14

jamesmawle says...

Please can I respond to clarify the position. The need for improvements to Witney's transport infrastructure exists now. It is the responsibility of OCC as the Local Highways Authority to implement the appropriate improvements. 2 Public Inquiries have now established beyond doubt that the appropriate improvement is the Shores Green Slip Roads.

Of the money OCC allocated to CLR, after paying for the inquiry and paying back the north east witney developer contributions OCC still had £8.25million left over. The cost of SGSR is £5million so OCC could just get on with it if they wanted to. Were they to do this we would do everything we could to help, making available any of our land needed for the junction and the the design work we have done on the junction.

Instead OCC are saying they want a new housing development at East Witney to pay for and build the junction. However allocations of new houses is the responsibility of the District Council and East Witney has only just been added into the draft Local Plan. There are inevitably delays in getting a new housing site big enough to pay for a major new junction through the planning process from a standing start and it is unfair of Cllr Hudspeth to talk of willful delay on our part. We stand ready to work with both Councils to bring forward SGSR with East Witney if that is what they want.

I stress though that it will take the constructive co-operation of all parties. One significant issue is that whist the Mawle Trustees own the land to the north of the A40 we do not own or control the land on the south side of the A40 needed for the SGSR. One affected landowner on the south side of the A40, Mark Walker appeared at the CLR CPO Inquiry and stated he would never willingly sell his land for SGSR. This is not something we can change or overcome and it is only OCC as Local Highways Authority who have the powers to solve this problem. I can confirm that to date we have had no meaningful contact with OCC over any aspect of SGSR.

I am sure you can understand that in those circumstances we are reticent to spend the £200,000 needed to put together a planning application for East Witney when there is no certainty it will lead anywhere.

If we thought or felt OCC were serious about the SGSR it would be full steam ahead to get this problem sorted. I don't want to say any more because at some point we are going to have to come together to get this scheme built. It is of course a great step forward to see SGSR included in OCC's Local Transport Plan.
Please can I respond to clarify the position. The need for improvements to Witney's transport infrastructure exists now. It is the responsibility of OCC as the Local Highways Authority to implement the appropriate improvements. 2 Public Inquiries have now established beyond doubt that the appropriate improvement is the Shores Green Slip Roads. Of the money OCC allocated to CLR, after paying for the inquiry and paying back the north east witney developer contributions OCC still had £8.25million left over. The cost of SGSR is £5million so OCC could just get on with it if they wanted to. Were they to do this we would do everything we could to help, making available any of our land needed for the junction and the the design work we have done on the junction. Instead OCC are saying they want a new housing development at East Witney to pay for and build the junction. However allocations of new houses is the responsibility of the District Council and East Witney has only just been added into the draft Local Plan. There are inevitably delays in getting a new housing site big enough to pay for a major new junction through the planning process from a standing start and it is unfair of Cllr Hudspeth to talk of willful delay on our part. We stand ready to work with both Councils to bring forward SGSR with East Witney if that is what they want. I stress though that it will take the constructive co-operation of all parties. One significant issue is that whist the Mawle Trustees own the land to the north of the A40 we do not own or control the land on the south side of the A40 needed for the SGSR. One affected landowner on the south side of the A40, Mark Walker appeared at the CLR CPO Inquiry and stated he would never willingly sell his land for SGSR. This is not something we can change or overcome and it is only OCC as Local Highways Authority who have the powers to solve this problem. I can confirm that to date we have had no meaningful contact with OCC over any aspect of SGSR. I am sure you can understand that in those circumstances we are reticent to spend the £200,000 needed to put together a planning application for East Witney when there is no certainty it will lead anywhere. If we thought or felt OCC were serious about the SGSR it would be full steam ahead to get this problem sorted. I don't want to say any more because at some point we are going to have to come together to get this scheme built. It is of course a great step forward to see SGSR included in OCC's Local Transport Plan. jamesmawle
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Sun 23 Mar 14

the wizard says...

jamesmawle wrote:
Please can I respond to clarify the position. The need for improvements to Witney's transport infrastructure exists now. It is the responsibility of OCC as the Local Highways Authority to implement the appropriate improvements. 2 Public Inquiries have now established beyond doubt that the appropriate improvement is the Shores Green Slip Roads.

Of the money OCC allocated to CLR, after paying for the inquiry and paying back the north east witney developer contributions OCC still had £8.25million left over. The cost of SGSR is £5million so OCC could just get on with it if they wanted to. Were they to do this we would do everything we could to help, making available any of our land needed for the junction and the the design work we have done on the junction.

Instead OCC are saying they want a new housing development at East Witney to pay for and build the junction. However allocations of new houses is the responsibility of the District Council and East Witney has only just been added into the draft Local Plan. There are inevitably delays in getting a new housing site big enough to pay for a major new junction through the planning process from a standing start and it is unfair of Cllr Hudspeth to talk of willful delay on our part. We stand ready to work with both Councils to bring forward SGSR with East Witney if that is what they want.

I stress though that it will take the constructive co-operation of all parties. One significant issue is that whist the Mawle Trustees own the land to the north of the A40 we do not own or control the land on the south side of the A40 needed for the SGSR. One affected landowner on the south side of the A40, Mark Walker appeared at the CLR CPO Inquiry and stated he would never willingly sell his land for SGSR. This is not something we can change or overcome and it is only OCC as Local Highways Authority who have the powers to solve this problem. I can confirm that to date we have had no meaningful contact with OCC over any aspect of SGSR.

I am sure you can understand that in those circumstances we are reticent to spend the £200,000 needed to put together a planning application for East Witney when there is no certainty it will lead anywhere.

If we thought or felt OCC were serious about the SGSR it would be full steam ahead to get this problem sorted. I don't want to say any more because at some point we are going to have to come together to get this scheme built. It is of course a great step forward to see SGSR included in OCC's Local Transport Plan.
If Hudspeth & Co don't want to tango then why not get Cameron to bring some pressure to bear and ask as to why ? meanwhile with the economic upturn you will no doubt see bigger profits from higher prices on the houses when they are sold, but the " when" is the key to the whole equation.

With Coral Springs now being built, Thorney Leys road and those dreaded traffic lights will become even more congested, and what extra measures have been put in place, NONE.
[quote][p][bold]jamesmawle[/bold] wrote: Please can I respond to clarify the position. The need for improvements to Witney's transport infrastructure exists now. It is the responsibility of OCC as the Local Highways Authority to implement the appropriate improvements. 2 Public Inquiries have now established beyond doubt that the appropriate improvement is the Shores Green Slip Roads. Of the money OCC allocated to CLR, after paying for the inquiry and paying back the north east witney developer contributions OCC still had £8.25million left over. The cost of SGSR is £5million so OCC could just get on with it if they wanted to. Were they to do this we would do everything we could to help, making available any of our land needed for the junction and the the design work we have done on the junction. Instead OCC are saying they want a new housing development at East Witney to pay for and build the junction. However allocations of new houses is the responsibility of the District Council and East Witney has only just been added into the draft Local Plan. There are inevitably delays in getting a new housing site big enough to pay for a major new junction through the planning process from a standing start and it is unfair of Cllr Hudspeth to talk of willful delay on our part. We stand ready to work with both Councils to bring forward SGSR with East Witney if that is what they want. I stress though that it will take the constructive co-operation of all parties. One significant issue is that whist the Mawle Trustees own the land to the north of the A40 we do not own or control the land on the south side of the A40 needed for the SGSR. One affected landowner on the south side of the A40, Mark Walker appeared at the CLR CPO Inquiry and stated he would never willingly sell his land for SGSR. This is not something we can change or overcome and it is only OCC as Local Highways Authority who have the powers to solve this problem. I can confirm that to date we have had no meaningful contact with OCC over any aspect of SGSR. I am sure you can understand that in those circumstances we are reticent to spend the £200,000 needed to put together a planning application for East Witney when there is no certainty it will lead anywhere. If we thought or felt OCC were serious about the SGSR it would be full steam ahead to get this problem sorted. I don't want to say any more because at some point we are going to have to come together to get this scheme built. It is of course a great step forward to see SGSR included in OCC's Local Transport Plan.[/p][/quote]If Hudspeth & Co don't want to tango then why not get Cameron to bring some pressure to bear and ask as to why ? meanwhile with the economic upturn you will no doubt see bigger profits from higher prices on the houses when they are sold, but the " when" is the key to the whole equation. With Coral Springs now being built, Thorney Leys road and those dreaded traffic lights will become even more congested, and what extra measures have been put in place, NONE. the wizard
  • Score: 1

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