Funding secured for improvements to A40 between Witney and Oxford

Vital upgrades to the A40 between Witney and Oxford moved a step closer, with £35 million in funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) announced today (7 December 2021).

The programme will see an 850 space park and ride facility as well as new and significantly enhanced bus, cycle and pedestrian routes on the A40.  

The works are part of the wider A40 improvements programme, which aims to provide additional highway space and improve transport links while encouraging a shift to more sustainable forms of travel. These plans will support access to over 4,800 new homes in the region and a significant boost to the local economy.

Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, said: “We are delighted the funding is confirmed to support transport, particularly regular swift buses and world-class cycle lanes, along this major route. For years, residents in West Oxfordshire have had to endure congestion on the A40 and its impact on every aspect of their lives.

“This key project will not only deliver safer and more reliable travel options between Witney and Oxford but support the growth of much needed jobs and housing in the area. All while promoting vital sustainable transport.”

Pivotal to the programme is encouraging local motorists to park their cars in favour of more sustainable and active modes of transport, such as local bus services, cycling and walking to get about the region.

Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, said: “Local residents have suffered with traffic and congestion along the A40 for too long, which is why I’m thrilled to announce this multi million pound investment to improve the route, increase capacity and provide a significant boost to public transport.

Providing faster, more frequent and more reliable bus journeys is a key commitment in our national bus strategy – and one I take very seriously. I’m, therefore, delighted to see this funding going towards giving local residents the bus services they deserve.

“And by building improved and safer infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, we will enable more people to take up active travel as a healthier and more sustainable way to get around.”

It’s estimated the proposed works will help create a green legacy in Oxfordshire and improve air quality by reducing CO2 emissions in the region.

The total cost of the scheme is estimated at £49.3 million, with the remaining funding coming from the Oxfordshire Growth Deal, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and private developer contributions, in addition to the DfT’s funding. Main works should get underway in 2022 and be completed mid-2024.