Imaginative ideas to reduce gridlock on A40
Witney, 16 January 2014
Local councillors and transport campaigners in Oxfordshire are backing plans for a new investigation into the growing problem of gridlock on the A40. Bus and rail supporters have joined forces with politicians at the launch campaign of the Witney Oxford Transport (WOT) group, held in Witney on Wednesday 15 January in a packed auditorium at the High Street Methodist Church.
They’re demanding a formal assessment of alternative routes – including the possibility of re-opening a disused railway. Witney’s growing population and the expansion of RAF Brize Norton have added pressure to the already congested A40.
The launch meeting of WOT ended with a unanimous call for a new study of the problems and possible solutions. Among the ideas being considered:
1. A Metro-style commuter train service between Cowley and Witney using existing lines and a section of disused track axed during the Beeching era of the 1960s.
2. A guided busway – a new concrete road exclusively used by buses. A similar system has recently opened in Cambridge.
3. A revolutionary “Tramtrain” service where European-style trams operate over existing and formerly abandoned rail lines.
Hugh Jaeger of the transport campaign group Bus Users UK said: “We are completely open-minded about the alternative, but one thing is absolutely certain – we can’t afford to do nothing.”