A34 Lodge Hill scheme to be fully funded
Vital work at the A34 Lodge Hill junction, that will reduce congestion and support new housing, has taken a significant step closer towards construction and delivery.
Oxfordshire County Council officers have been working closely with counterparts from Homes England for the past year to develop a business case for the A34 Lodge Hill Interchange scheme. Following necessary due diligence, Homes England recently confirmed the project has been awarded £17.33 million of infrastructure grant funding through the ‘Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land’ (BIL) Fund, subject to the agreement of pre-contract conditions and the county council entering into a grant funding agreement with Homes England.
The A34 Lodge Hill Interchange scheme will improve junction capacity at Lodge Hill, as well as make cycling and walking easier and safer in the area. It will allow for shorter journey times by adding new south-facing slip roads to the A34, cycle and pedestrian safety improvements and layby upgrades on the A34. The junction currently has north-facing slips only, and is located between Abingdon and Oxford.
The council had already secured funding for the scheme from several sources, including contributions from developers, the Housing Growth Deal and funding directly from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). However, following a review of the scheme in summer 2022, a funding gap was identified.
The A34 Lodge Hill Interchange scheme will be one of the first to be awarded infrastructure grant funding through the BIL Fund, and both parties are looking to enter into a grant funding agreement by the end of the calendar year.
Councillor Judy Roberts, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Development Strategy, said: “The A34 Lodge Hill scheme will improve connectivity to and from the north of Abingdon to the town centre and make it easier for people to choose walking, cycling or taking public transport as part of their daily routine.”
“Securing this additional funding is fantastic news. It will help accelerate the detailed design process and enable construction to begin. This is vital and much needed investment to support growth in Abingdon. We have all campaigned for this for so long and it is wonderful news that the needs of our residents and the people who will use this route have been recognised.”
Pauline Schaffer, Director of Infrastructure Funding at Homes England said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure. Our multimillion-pound funding will provide strategic transport infrastructure for housing growth in the area, unlocking 820 high quality homes and supporting existing and future local plan housing allocations.”
Construction is anticipated to start in summer 2024, and last approximately two years.
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