Four councils are opposing “damaging” plans for a flyover bridge as part of a new road and river crossing linking Didcot with the Culham Science Centre.

The road and river crossing over the River Thames just outside Abingdon, has been driven by a boom in the science sector and with hopes it will create enough space on the roads for 11,711 new homes on several sites around Didcot.

Oxfordshire County Council has drawn up plans as part of a package of major road improvement schemes in the Didcot area. Plans include widening the A4130 from A34 Milton Interchange towards Didcot from single to dual carriageway; a new Science Bridge over the A4130, Great Western Railway Line and Milton Road into the former Didcot A Power Station site; a new Didcot to Culham bridge between the A4130 and A415; and a Clifton Hampden bypass.

Despite seeing the benefits of having a new Thames crossing, Appleford, Culham, Long Wittenham and Sutton Courteney parish councils have joined forces objecting specifically to having a flyover near Appleford level crossing.

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Villagers and parish councillors argue that a flyover road would cause noise pollution, visual pollution and it would split the village in two. Appleford village wants a compromise which would see the new road moved 200 to 250 metres west of the railway line.

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Appleford parish councillor, Greg O’Broin said: “It won’t just be a negative impact, the flyover will damage the village.”

He added: “The road will be less than the width of the playing field of either Twickenham or Wembley away, it will be that close to the village.”

Mr O’Broin explained that his biggest concern is the proximity of the flyover to the village, he is worried for visual and noise pollution and he wants to protect the residents of Appleford. The councillor has also expressed concerns that the current plans for the flyover would steer people away from moving to the village and even push people to move away. He supports plans for a road that will ease traffic congestion in the area and would like to work with the County Council to reach a compromise.

He said: “We don’t believe the cost would be materially different by pushing the road back and putting the bridge in the place we are proposing. However, the value and benefit to the people of Appleford would be significant.”

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Long Wittenham parish council also supports the new road and river crossing because it would filter traffic away from the village when more houses are built in South Oxfordshire. Moving the new road further west of Appleford, would also reduce noise levels in Long Wittenham.

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Gordon Rogers, chairman of Long Wittenham parish council said: “The further west the bridge goes the better it is for noise pollution. The flyover would also be a monstrosity splitting the village in two, so we support their concerns.”

A spokesperson from Oxfordshire County Council said: “Oxfordshire County Council has liaised extensively with Appleford Parish Council and continues to do so. However, the Appleford Parish Council proposal requires building a road through a recent landfill site and through a lake.

“This creates significant engineering challenges and risk. Work is ongoing to assess and report on the impact of the current, approved alignment which will include an assessment of noise, air quality and visual impact, including any mitigations as appropriate.”

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