TRAFFIC jams on the outskirts of Henley are inevitable at peak times, the highways authority has warned.
Oxfordshire County Council says traffic lights at entrances to the town are there to keep the centre clear.
It made the comments in response to a complaint from commuter Phil Stubbington, of Adwell Square.
Mr Stubbington said he often waited 30 or more minutes on Remenham Hill when coming home in the evenings.
He added that roads on the other side of Henley Bridge like Hart Street or Thames Side were virtually empty.
Mr Stubbington feared this was increasing air pollution on streets appearoaching the town.
But Mark Kemp, the authority’s deputy highways director Mark Kemp told him this was not the case.
He said: “The presence of queues on Remenham Hill, in the absence of queues in the central areas, is intentional. The system is specifically geared to do this.
“One of the main aims... is to improve conditions for pedestrians and reduce air pollution throughout the centre.
“Heavy queuing beyond the top of Remenham Hill existed long before the Henley traffic scheme.
“Given the increase in traffic levels and the lack of alternative routes it is not surprising that queuing has worsened and it cannot be attributed solely to the systems in place.
“We are happy that, regardless of the overall trends, the system does reduce pollution.”
Cllr David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member for the environment, said: “There are times when the traffic attempting to enter Henley is too great for any traffic management system.
“The issue at the bridge is compunded with large traffic turning left from Riverside needing the full road width to turn the corner.”