Villagers who are against controversial plans for a new road linking the A34, Milton Park, Didcot and the Culham Science Centre say they are ‘livid’ at the short notice they have been given by Oxfordshire County Council to submit their case.

The council says views on the road have to be in by December 11. Four parish councils want a meeting with the council to thrash out concerns over junctions and alignments of the road.

The chairman of Appleford Parish Council Greg O’Broin said: “We’re livid that we have such a short time span in which to submit our views on what is an expensive and complex project. The road doesn’t fit in with the county council’s ‘green’ credentials and fails to comply with open and transparent local government”.

The estimated cost of the whole length of the new road is £234m.

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Appleford residents are concerned the 30ft high flyover road will bring harmful pollution levels, high traffic volumes and cause noise and a visual intrusion that may block out their sunlight.

If approved a final planning decision is expected in April with work starting next summer.

Appleford says a proposed new flyover near the railway crossing would cut the village in two and cause extra traffic pollution. The other three councils - Sutton Courtenay, Culham and Clifton Hampden - are also upset at what they call the county council’s ‘unsatisfactory’ consultation process

However, Long Wittenham Parish Council is in support of the new road and says it would relieve traffic congestion through the village and at the Clifton Hampden bridge lights.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesperson said: “The council has worked closely with local communities on the proposals, which have been shaped by two rounds of public consultation and numerous stakeholder meetings to gather feedback. Following the endorsement of a preferred scheme by council’s Cabinet in 2020, a planning application has been submitted and residents are invited to provide feedback until 11 December.

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“The schemes seek to reduce congestion and provide residents with access to more sustainable travel options in and around Didcot, including much improved pedestrian and cycle connectivity and public transport infrastructure. It also provides villages along the route with relief from noise and pollution from traffic.

“Through careful design and planning we are expecting to increase by 10 per cent the habitats and hedgerows across the scheme area and will be minimising as far as possible impact on the local environment. The final scheme is expected to not only reduce congestion and improve air quality, but also help reduce noise impacts to over 700 existing homes.”

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