Funding A40 solution to be discussed
More than £3million could be invested in work to design major improvements to the A40.
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet is being asked to agree to invest a total of £3.191m of development funding towards progressing design to make the 1,000 space Eynsham Park and Ride and 4 mile eastbound bus lane into Oxford a reality.
County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The kind of improvements we are proposing will be another step change for improving journeys following the completion of the A40 Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts.
“The funding will be used to draw up the detailed designs as the next stage of the project with the comments we received during the consultation helping to shape the plans.
”The Department for Transport has identified £35m funding for the A40 bus lane and Eynsham Park and Ride project which will be supplemented by £1.2m from funds held by Oxfordshire County Council, providing a combined scheme budget of £36.2m."
The money being considered by Cabinet would be repaid as part of the DfT funding.
Benefits for A40 users
The benefits of the project are:
· To provide a congestion free route for public transport on the A40 eastbound approach to Oxford reducing journey times for passengers.
· To encourage a shift from private cars to public transport reducing the demand for car trips on the A40.
· To stimulate economic growth within Oxford, West Oxfordshire and the Oxfordshire Knowledge Spine.
Long-term strategy for the A40
This project is the first phase of a long-term strategy which will later focus on new dual carriageway from Witney to a new Park and Ride at Eynsham as well as further bus priority lanes connecting the Eynsham Park and Ride toward Oxford.
Council transport planners are working on detailed plans to help secure more than £50m in funding for the future stages of the long-term strategy.
Future proposals to pay for infrastructure
The One Oxfordshire proposals for a new unitary council include plans for a new £1bn investment fund that could use public and private sector money to pay for the vital infrastructure the county needs.
The recent county council consultation into the park and ride and bus lane received over 600 responses from members of the public and showed 77% of respondents are supportive of public transport improvements along the A40.
Councillor Hudspeth said: “We received many comments through the consultation, particularly about the single 3m wide pedestrian cycleway on the northern side of the A40and the need to future proof the designs to accommodate the proposed housing development sites coming forward in the area.
“People also said that the proposed westbound bus lane, short sections of which will be delivered by the A40 project, should be delivered in full and that further work should focus on removing the Duke’s Cut Canal bridge pinch point.
“We will look closely at all the comments before we commence the detailed design.”
The detailed design is scheduled to be completed in April 2018, following which the construction contractor will be appointed and construction works forecasted to start in September 2018.