A40 in West Oxfordshire: Congestion

Part of Petition - Maximum Sentences for Child Cruelty Offences – in the House of Commons at 8:48 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney 8:48 pm, 8th January 2019

That is an excellent point. One point overrides all others—if there are to be new homes, the infrastructure must come with them. I will dwell on that a little more later, but my hon. Friend makes her point excellently.

Jim Shannon referred obliquely to Brize Norton. That is terribly important. The people who work at that Royal Air Force base come not necessarily from Carterton but from further afield—sometimes 50 or 100 miles away—because of the nature of service life. This issue affects the Royal Air Force’s functioning and efficiency, too, and we must address that.

There is no silver bullet for A40 congestion. We will require a combination of schemes from a variety of funding streams to tackle it. I will briefly cover some of the options and funding avenues, and ask for the Minister’s help in securing the funding we need.

First, the park and ride scheme, for which a public consultation has just closed, is Oxfordshire County Council’s most immediate project for A40 improvement. The intended funding stream for that is the Department for Transport’s local growth fund. There are plans to build a park and ride at Eynsham, together with an eastbound bus lane between Eynsham and the Duke’s Cut canal bridge near Wolvercote. Those proposals probably represent the biggest step forward on A40 congestion in a generation. They would bring real change and progress on an issue that affects the day-to-day lives of us all. We would see essential widening of the road and long-needed upgrades to public transport along the route. It would be a significant step—although perhaps not a conclusive one—in the right direction, and I will ask for the Minister’s help in securing funding. However, it may be that those proposals on their own do not offer a final fix and that no aspect of this scheme can be seen in isolation. Work may need to continue—