PLANS to reduce the speed limit on a main road into Oxford from the west have been described as 'nonsensical'.

The A40 is the main arterial road into Oxford used by commuters travelling from Witney and the rest of West Oxfordshire, and is also an important through road.

But the section of the road where it arrives in Oxford, at the Wolvercote roundabout to the north of the city, is set to have its speed limit reduced to 30mph for a several hundred metres, until it passes under the northern bypass, then to 40mph for several hundred metres.

The speed reduction from the current national speed limit is to prepare for two things: the addition of a bus lane travelling from a proposed Eynsham park and ride, and new junctions either side of the road to allow access into the new Oxford North development.

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Oxfordshire county councillor Charles Mathew warned the new measures would cause more traffic chaos on a road which already regularly sees long queues of traffic each day.

Mr Mathew said: "Further speed limits will exacerbate queue problems at the head of this road.

"It is nonsensical to impose these measures which are not going to be enforced and will further complicate the travel plans of many thousands a day."

Yvonne Constance, the cabinet member for transport, approved the plans, and described them as a solution to problems caused by Oxford City Council's decision to give developer Thomas White Oxford permission to build the 480-home site at Oxford North.

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She added it was 'quite difficult to judge' what the effects changes to an 'important radial road' would be.

Mr Mathew and Lib Dem councillor Pal Buckley also had concerns that a planned road through the middle of the Oxford North development could become a rat run for HGVs.

But Paul Knight, a council officer, said there would be signs in place to deter this, and cameras which would catch lorries trying to sneak through the residential site.