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£1.3m drive to tackle M40 junction jams
COMMUNITIES in north Oxfordshire are hoping it will be third-time lucky when a notorious M40 junction is redesigned again.
Plans have been announced to spend almost £1.3m in a bid to resolve queues at the Ardley services junction 10 between Bicester and Banbury.
But some believe the investment will not be enough.
Cherwell district councillor Jon O’Neill said: “The junction is a historical farce. This is the third iteration since the junction was created.”
He said he was not convinced the planned work would be enough to solve the problems, which have seen northbound traffic exiting the motorway to join the A43 regularly queueing back on to the motorway.
Work is expected to start in 2014 to turn Padbury roundabout into a hamburger-style roundabout, where southbound traffic will continue directly to a new slip road off the Cherwell roundabout to the motorway.
The approach to the Cherwell roundabout will be widened and traffic lights will be installed. The current M40 southbound slip road from Padbury roundabout will be closed.
The junction was completely remodelled in 2002 at a cost £56.6m. At the time it was criticised by Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council, who said the changes would be no better than the original junction built when the M40 opened in 1991.
Ian Corkin, of Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council, said: “The current design of junction 10 is fundamentally flawed, with both the north and southbound slip roads located on the wrong side of the roundabouts that feed them.
“The result is not only serious congestion around the junction, but also large volumes of traffic rat running through the village.
“We await sight of the plans, but let’s hope they are better than the disastrous doodle built at the last attempt.”
Bicester’s MP Sir Tony Baldry said: “Both junctions nine and 10 have always been something of a nightmare. The Government has already announced a significant chunk of money to improve and reconfigure Junction 9 and I am very pleased that the Secretary of State for Transport has been able to find some money to help improve traffic flows at junction 10 as well.”
Earlier this year the Government allocated £6.5m to upgrade the M40/A34 junction 9, and Oxfordshire County Council a further £2m to ease tailbacks on the motorway, the A34 and A41.
Work on that project could start next year.
It includes widening the A34 approach to the junction from two to four lanes.