CONGESTION at Handy Cross would be reduced and the west of Wycombe opened up for development if a motorway junction was built near Booker, according to a councillor.

As a row rages on over a potential M40 junction 3A near Flackwell Heath, Cllr Alan Hill is calling for junction 4A to the west of Handy Cross, which we said would be "a win" for residents.

The Abbey ward representative told a Wycombe District Council meeting that a junction close to the Booker Air Park would provide benefits for the whole town instead of the mooted 3A to the east.

He said: "This could assist the opening up of the Booker Area, and take a lot of traffic from an already congested area of Daws Hill and Heath End Road the only east/west route to this proposed junction. It would also help to expand the specialised aero employment at Booker Air Park.

"Not to mention that it would also help traffic going to Oxford from Marlow, the H.G.V.’s from Cressex Business Park and help reduce traffic on Handy Cross Junction, which we all know is extremely busy at the best of times.

"Surely this would be a win for our town and residents? It does seem the most obvious choice.

He added: "Handy Cross is chaos and this would take the pressure off. I think we should push them (Highways Agency) to get it done."

The possibility of a new M40 junction near Flackwell Heath was raised during WDC’s consultation on the Local Plan, which aims to find sites to locate new homes and businesses to meet growing demand.

Residents and business have reacted angrily to the idea, with an early study suggesting a link road may be built through Wycombe Marsh to join with the A40 at Gomm Road.

And instead, Cllr Hill believes the solution lies in looking to the West, where more undeveloped land is available.

But Cllr David Johncock, deputy Cabinet member for planning, poured cold water on the idea and claims the area is not suitable for a motorway junction.

He said: "The potential for a Junction 4A was explored when the Air Park was being considered, and at the time the Highways Agency disregarded it.

"First of all because of the proximity to Junction 4 and the difference in ground levels between Clay Lane and the M40.

"A Junction 4a was not considered (for the Local Plan) and is probably not worth further consideration at this time."