MOTORISTS using junction nine of the M40 may get some relief after it was made part of a £217 million programme of improvements.
On Monday the Roads Minister Mike Penning announced the Highways Agency is to start work on eight road schemes to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety as the first stage of the programme of improvements to England’s motorways and major A roads.
Known the as ‘pinch point’ improvement schemes, the Highways Agency will start the planning and design for £18.5m worth of schemes this financial year, with work to be undertaken and completed by 2015.
The A34/M40 Wendlebury junction is part of that first phase and will include; widening of the northbound A34 approach to reduce queuing, the installation of signals on the northbound node to improve capacity and allow greater control of traffic joining the M40 northbound, and widening of the A41 exit to allow all three lanes on the circulator carriageway to exit onto the A41.
Funds for the programme were outlined in the Chancellors’s Autumn statement in November 2011 and work is expected to start later this year.
Mr Penning said: “The programme provides smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters. This will boost local economies and drive economic growth. Transport provides the crucial links that allow people and businesses to prosper and we will continue to invest in schemes that reduce congestion and support economic growth.”
Jim French, member of Bicester Town Council’s Traffic Advisory committee said he broadly welcomed the changes but added: “I use that junction a lot and minor changes they made in the past have improved things. But Bicester is the cross roads of England, we’ve got housing expansion and Bicester Village. What I’d really want to see is another junction on the M40 in this area.”