A40 bottlenecks to receive £180 million of improvement funding

A40 road improvements Oxfordshire

People are being asked for their views in the coming weeks on detailed plans for £180 million worth of transport improvements planned for the A40 between Witney and Oxford.

Oxfordshire County Council is proposing to deliver major improvements including a new park and ride facility in Eynsham, better cycling facilities as well as an eastbound bus lane between Eynsham park and ride and the Duke’s Cut canal bridge near Wolvercote.

The plans will go on show at three public exhibitions at the start of December and the county council is keen to hear what people think either in person or via an online consultation.

The bus lane project also includes new bus stops at Eynsham on the A40 and Westbound bus priority on the approaches to Cassington traffic signals and Eynsham roundabout.

Junction improvements between Eynsham park and ride and the Duke’s Cut canal bridge near Wolvercote are also proposed. The two-way shared walking and cycling path along with the northern verge would be widened and the southern path would be retained.

This project is largely funded through the Local Growth Fund and the council has provisionally secured £35 million toward the cost.

Construction is currently programmed to take place from 2019-2021 and it is expected that Eynsham park and ride will be subject to a planning application in spring 2019.

The consultation also shines a light on further potential improvements to the A40.

The council has the opportunity to submit a proposal to central government for further funding towards improvements to the A40, through the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The proposal, worth up to £145 million, are for measures complementary to the Eynsham Park and Ride and bus priority scheme.

Five scheme elements are planned including improvements to highway capacity by extending the A40 dual carriageway at Witney to Eynsham park and ride. There is also a proposal to improve bus journeys from Oxford through providing longer sections of westbound bus priority lane, and to widen the Duke’s Cut Canal and Wolvercote Railway bridges to enable the eastbound bus lane towards Oxford to travel over this pinch point and into Wolvercote roundabout.

Improvements to cycle routes are also proposed. A new path from the A40 cycle route to National Cycle Route 5 on the Oxford Canal Tow path is proposed, as well as seeking to provide a long distance dedicated walking and cycling route from Eynsham to Botley along the B4044.

The December consultation seeks view on the conceptual designs of these transport scheme proposals for the A40 corridor.

The council is developing a central government business case for these five schemes to submit to the Housing Infrastructure Fund in March 2019 and is likely to hear if funds have been awarded to the A40 in Summer 2019.

Susan Halliwell, director for planning and place, said: “We are looking at some massive transport investments for the A40 that will benefit people locally and from far beyond.”