A40 transport improvements: Oxfordshire County Council submits bid for £102m Housing Infrastructure Fund

Improvements to the A40 in Oxfordshire would be delivered if a county council bid submitted to central government for funding is approved. The bid is part of the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government’s “Housing Infrastructure Fund” (HIF) and has been put together in close partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council. The improvements would unlock 4800 new homes nearby including 2200 affordable homes.

 If successful, the bid will deliver:

  • Extension of the A40 dual carriageway from Witney to the proposed Eynsham park and ride, including improving cycling facilities along the route.

  • Extension of A40 westbound bus lane from west of Duke’s Cut canal and railway bridges to the proposed Eynsham park and ride.

  • A40 Capacity and Connectivity Improvements at Duke’s Cut Canal and Railway Bridges -

Oxfordshire County Council’s original proposals included the B4044 Community Path, which we took the difficult decision of removing as part of this package, due to the specific criteria for HIFs. Oxfordshire County Council remains committed to this scheme and will seek alternative funding. Please read our statement here.

Making the A40 fit for purpose

The overall scheme aims at creating substantial benefits for existing and future users the A40. This main artery is a single carriageway road and – on the section between Witney and Oxford – up to 32,000 vehicles currently use it each day. Congestion causes daily problems for road users and has been described by business leaders as one of the biggest barriers to economic growth and prosperity in West Oxfordshire. All modes of transport are impacted by congestion, which encourages traffic to seek other routes. Bus services are suffering from increasing journey times and are unable to reliably run to timetable. Demand for travel and transport will only increase over time.

The proposals seek to increase A40 highway capacity for all users of the route between Witney and Eynsham, while providing a high-quality, congestion-free public transport alternative for travel between Eynsham and Oxford. Interchange would be made possible at Eynsham Park & Ride, part of the A40 Science Transit 2 Scheme.

Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said:

“This bid will help us make the A40 fit for purpose giving it a much-needed upgrade to support sustainable growth in West Oxfordshire. The A40 is already above capacity severely affecting residents and businesses. The massive improvements we are proposing will alleviate congestion, improve public transport, making journeys more reliable and shorter and linking this route to the future Eynsham park and ride.”

Giles Hughes, Head of Paid Service at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This bid will help ease the daily misery commuters have to endure on the A40 every day and will bring major benefits to the District’s economy in terms of attracting businesses and tourists to the area.

“A very strong case has been made to Government for this funding and we look forward to a positive outcome later in the year.”

Chris Coleman, Managing Director for Stagecoach in Oxford added: "We strongly support the HIF bid submitted by Oxfordshire County Council and believe that this second phase of improvements to the A40 west of Eynsham and around Dukes Cut is necessary to secure the full benefits arising from the initial bus lanes scheme east of Eynsham. Together, these will transform journey times and reliability for the thousands of customers using our services each week between West Oxfordshire and the City. This scheme creates a comprehensive solution necessary to deliver an attractive public transport offer on the A40 that is essential to serve the needs of planned residential and employment sites in the future.”

Oxfordshire County Council held a consultation to collect residents’ feedback on the plans for improving the A40 Corridor in late 2018 and expects to hear the outcome of the funding bid by late summer 2019.