COUNCILS have said a major £180m plan to build an 850-space park-and-ride in Eynsham and two new bus lanes on the A40 must be changed.

Oxfordshire County Council wants to build the new commuter car park on land west of Cuckoo Lane but some residents are fiercely opposed, while some councils say the proposals do not go far enough.

The A40 is notorious for congestion, particularly at peak times, with more than 30,000 vehicles using it every day.

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While in broadly favour of the project, West Oxfordshire District Council said it ‘fails to provide opportunities’ to link up to the proposed Oxfordshire Cotswold Garden Village (OCGV), north of Eynsham.

It said more ‘flexibility’ is needed for bus services to run from the proposed park-and-ride into the garden village.

The district council added the proposal ‘fails to consider the need’ of an integrated strategy for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to get to 1,000 future homes in West Eynsham.

Two new bus lanes are planned for the A40 – but just the eastbound bus lane, which would stretch about 6.5km, would run the whole way into Oxford.

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Oxford City Council said it worried the westbound bus lane would discourage people from using the park-and-ride and add to a perception that journeys could be delayed.

Its principal planner, Nadia Robinson, told the county council: “A continuous bus lane would give assurance to commuters to Oxford that their return journey would not be delayed, thereby encouraging more people to choose to commute to Oxford by bus.”

Other groups are furious about the proposals.

Eynsham Planning Improvement Campaign (EPIC) said the county council’s proposals ‘totally ignore the plan for 2,200 houses in [the OCGV] to the north of Eynsham, which will require a number of crossing points between the new development and the existing village'.

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EPIC added: “The time spent parking, waiting for a bus when that has limited priority three miles up the road and re-joins a traffic jam is a completely inadequate incentive to get people out of their cars.”

Eynsham Parish Council said it ‘strongly objects’ and was unsure ‘how anyone without a degree in chemistry, biology and/or physics’ would be able to scrutinise the ‘accuracy or understanding’ of an air quality report prepared as part of the application.

The proposed improvements could see new bus stops on the A40 at Eynsham and Cassington, other crossing changes and a shared walking and cycle path north of the A40 widened.

A consultation finished at the start of this year.