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New alliance launched to oppose damaging road schemes across Oxfordshire

Oxford Friends of the Earth is a thriving and effective local group that has been active for over 40 years. Our purpose is to work together to promote a healthy and sustainable environment

New alliance launched to oppose damaging road schemes across Oxfordshire

On Sat. Nov. 5th groups from across the county are meeting to launch of the Oxfordshire Roads Action Alliance (ORAA). ORAA is a community alliance and campaign group that is being set up to prevent unsuitable road development in Oxfordshire. ORAA is supported by local parish councils, Oxford Friends of the Earth and the national Transport Action Network. The launch is at Didcot Methodist Hall [1] on Saturday Nov. 5th from 11am – 2.30pm. 

The threat from road building in Oxfordshire has never been greater. It’s been shown time and again that new roads generate more traffic and pollution. That’s why Oxford FoE are helping launch this new alliance to protect our beautiful county from this destructive onslaught.

ORAA’s first main focus is the South Oxfordshire Road Scheme (SORS) – the ‘HIF1 Road’ that will create a new arterial link from the A34 near Milton to the B4015 Oxford-Reading road near Nuneham Courtenay [2]. The road is linked to proposed major housing schemes and will cut across green field sites around Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Sutton Courteney and Clifton Hampden.  It will involve a major new road bridge over the river Thames and two expensive rail bridges, one over the main Great Western line to the West Country and Wales.

The road is being promoted by Oxfordshire County Council and will cost at least £300M. Some of the funding will come from central Government but the County will need to borrow at least £30M to deliver this scheme at a time when their finances are already stretched. With inflation running at the rate it is, this shortfall could easily increase and expose the Council and local taxpayers to much more.

The proposed HIF1 road scheme is opposed by the five parish councils along the route. There are much better ways to meet our transport needs than a new nine mile arterial link road through South Oxfordshire. The County Council’s own transport plan states that they want to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport and reduce car journeys by 1 in 4. Yet this six-year old road plan will generate more traffic, pollution and undermine their climate targets.  This proposal is an out-dated solution that just will not work, and is a complete waste of money.

Speakers at the launch will include Jenny Raggett of Transport for New Homes (TfNH) TfNH have studied and critiqued many plans for soulless new housing estates built in the countryside based on new roads, often with little or no public transport or active travel provision.  

If you would like to attend please reserve a space by booking here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oxfordshire-roads-action-alliance-oraa-launch-meeting-tickets-443747469627.