Cash for village bypass shunned

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The Independent Online
MONEY from the Department of Transport that was to help pay for a bypass at an Oxfordshire village has been turned down after county councillors abandoned plans to build the road.

An official from the department, which had an extra pounds 1bn for roads announced on Wednesday, wrote to the council: 'I must express my surprise and disappointment. I do not think I can recall another occasion when an authority has received a transport supplementary grant for their first priority major scheme only to so radically reverse their decision one month later.'

Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors joined forces to vote down the proposed pounds 6.5m Woodstock bypass, for which the pounds 3m grant had been offered. Because of spending restrictions, the project would have meant cuts in spending on services.

Dr George Gandy, a solicitor who has co-ordinated opposition to the bypass, said: 'We are delighted by the decision.'