ANYONE commuting from Abingdon to Oxford knows how busy the roads can be during rush hour.

Every morning, the A34 is filled with cars pressed bumper to bumper against each other heading north and south.

On the face of it then, a park and ride at Lodge Hill would seem like an ideal solution.

Commuters heading to Oxford could park at Lodge Hill and use the bus service to make their way to work. But without a Lodge Hill interchange on the A34, cars travelling north would not be able to get off the main road to the park and ride.

As campaigners are at pains to point out, most of the area where a park and ride could be built is Green Belt land.

It is hard to argue against their claims that installing a large car park would bring more traffic through the town’s roads. What is clear is that something needs to be done to alleviate the long traffic jams in and out of the city and the congestion on rural roads.

At this stage, there are no concrete plans, but many residents in towns south of Oxford feel very strongly about protecting their countryside and do not want a large car park to be built near their homes. Residents of Abingdon feel very strongly that the town should not become a suburb of Oxford.

Congestion in Abingdon town centre has long been a concern for residents and problems caused by the Drayton Road diversion last week were a clear illustration of what can go wrong if you revise the traffic system without thinking clearly about the implications.

Transport planners at County Hall appear to be keen to push forward a new series of park and rides, including one at Cumnor, but they need to assess carefully the impact on the local road network first.