Losing the battle

It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Long Wittenham will stem the tide of Didcot’s expansion. A final decision on the proposed growth of Ladygrove towards the fringes of the village with 2,000 homes is expected from South Oxfordshire District Council in May.

At public hearings before an Inspector last year Wittenham and ten neighbouring villages spoke out against the expansion, fearing increased traffic on country roads. Recent surveys show volumes are already nearing capacity during peak morning and evening travel times at Clifton Hampden bridge and the traffic lights at Abingdon road.

No new river crossing or other major road improvements are planned. The district council claims that new residents would use the A34 to Oxford to avoid known congestion blackspots such as Clifton Hampden bridge.

Wittenham parish council chairman Tom Bowtell said: “Sadly it looks likely that we will lose the battle to stop the Ladygrove expansion. It will lead to even more traffic on already busy roads through villages. Our thanks go to former parish councillor Mat Clifton who worked so hard presenting our case at the public hearings into the district council’s core development strategy for the whole district.”

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