Page last updated at 18:50 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Link road plan given green light

traffic jam (generic)
The link road is designed to tackle traffic bottlenecks

Controversial plans to create a bypass designed to ease traffic congestion in Oxfordshire have been given the go ahead by the county council.

Councillors approved a planning application for the 16.4m Cogges Link Road at a meeting on Monday.

The plan would see Witan Way connected to Oxford Hill.

Campaigners against it said they are disappointed but will continue to fight the decision as they think it will harm the environment.

Gill Salway chairman of the West Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign for Rural England said: "Obviously we are very disappointed because we are still convinced that the Cogges link Road is going to be very environmentally damaging.

We've been here about 140 years and we aren't going anywhere soon
James Moore, farmer

"It's going to put a swathe of concrete embankments across what is at the moment a very unspoiled and very attractive bit of countryside that is almost at the heart of Witney.

"That is a very precious resource and it ought to be preserved."

Farmer James Moore owns land required to build the road.

He said: "We've farmed in the area for a very long time, myself, my father, grandfather and great grandfather.

"We've been here about 140 years and we aren't going anywhere soon. "

Campaigners also said that people in Witney are against the plans for the link road as 75% of those who commented during the consultation said they were against the plans.

Ian Hudspeth, cabinet member for transport said: "I think it's the correct decision for Witney.

"It's going to provide a good relief road and now we've got the planning permission we can actually move ahead."

The road could be in place by 2012.

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