Didcot Garden Town: Oxfordshire County Council secures £218m for major transport improvements
Transport improvements in and around Didcot will support the creation of new jobs and homes, thanks to a successful grant funding bid led by Oxfordshire County Council and supported by the district councils.
The funding will support the creation of new houses including affordable homes and will improve transport links including walking and cycling routes.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has announced in this year’s Spring Statement the positive outcome of the Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) bid for the Didcot Garden Town and the delivery of projects which include:
- A4130 widening from A34 Milton Interchange towards Didcot;
- A new “Science Bridge” over the A4130, Great Western Railway Line and Milton Road into the former Didcot A Power Station site;
- A new Culham to Didcot river crossing between the A415 and A4130; and
- A Clifton Hampden Bypass
The package of measures has previously been identified in Local Plans to deliver growth across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts and is linked with the Housing and Growth Deal which will help support the delivery of 100,000 new homes in Oxfordshire by 2031.
This funding announcement will mean that necessary infrastructure improvements are delivered in parallel with new homes and jobs ensuring the long-term economic success in this part of Oxfordshire.
All schemes include improved segregated walking and cycling routes which will give people real travel choice. The lack of suitable crossings over the railway line and river coupled with the success of the Science Vale area has resulted in heavy congestion. The same constraints have resulted in limited alternatives to the private car.
HIF will enable direct and convenient access between new and existing homes and key employment sites in and around Didcot. Oxfordshire County Council will continue to work with its partners and stakeholders to deliver the highway improvements to support growth across the area.
Working together to help residents and the local economy
Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP, said:
“This £218 million investment from the Government is big backing for a big project, improving local transport links to unlock new homes for the good people of Oxfordshire for decades to come.
“It’s all part of how the Government is firing on all cylinders to help deliver up to one million new homes across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc by 2050, helping a new generation to realise the dream of home ownership.”
Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said:
“This is excellent news and shows the government recognises the importance of this area locally and nationally and the strength of our proposals to enable and sustain expected growth. It’s a much-needed boost and part of our wider plans for Oxfordshire so that communities, residents and businesses can thrive”.
Cllr Jane Murphy, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, described the announcement as "a significant moment for everybody living and working in Didcot and surrounding villages. I’m delighted that we’ve been a part of this successful bid to bring much-needed infrastructure to our district – this award demonstrates that by working closely with government, delivering on growth, and building positive working relationships with other councils, we can deliver much needed improvements for our residents.”
Cllr Roger Cox, Leader of Vale of White Horse District council added: "This is great news for the local economy – by working together with our colleagues in the councils across Oxfordshire, we have helped to secure the infrastructure investment we needed to ensure that the Science Vale area continues to thrive, offering lots of high quality jobs and career opportunities for our residents.”
Homes England Deputy Chief Executive, Tom Walker said:
“This is great news for Didcot and for Oxfordshire – the £218 million of Housing Infrastructure funding will secure the important infrastructure needed to support the delivery of thousands of new homes across Oxfordshire and help the local economy to grow. Homes England will continue to work alongside the local councils and the Oxfordshire Growth Board to help make these homes happen. ”
David Pryor, Chair of Didcot First, said “Didcot First welcomes the government’s continued investment to the town and surrounding area. With further growth expected in the next 20 years, I’m pleased that the funds have now become available to help relieve congestion in and around the garden town. I’ve been lobbying for a new bridge at Culham for a long time and with the bypass at Clifton Hampden, all the improvements will be welcome for everyone living in and around these areas.”
The garden town team have been working with the advisory board on prioritising the more than 60 individual projects listed in the delivery plan and will now take into account this new funding to support the new homes and jobs set to be created.