Government Minister signs £215m deal for road improvements and affordable housing in Oxfordshire

Housing Minister at Heyford Park

Housing Minister Dominic Raab has visited Heyford Park near Bicester to sign a deal to deliver a £215m investment in transport infrastructure and affordable housing in Oxfordshire. The Minister met Councillor Yvonne Constance, the county council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Economy (pictured above).

The deal was signed by all six members of the Oxfordshire Growth Board: Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Cherwell District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council.

This week has also seen the Oxfordshire Growth Board announce the first year of projects to be funded by an initial release of £30m for infrastructure projects as part of the Deal agreement.

While yesterday (21 March), the Government announced 44 bids which have made it through to stage 2 of its Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to fund major infrastructure projects.

Two of the three HIF bids submitted by the county council last autumn on behalf of Oxfordshire made it through and will now progress to a co-development stage: Didcot Garden Town and West Oxfordshire Garden Village near Eynsham.

Didcot Garden Town – £171m is sought for transport improvements including a Didcot Science Bridge and A4130 dual carriageway, a new river crossing at Culham and Clifton Hampden Bypass. This would support the delivery of over 22,000 homes in Didcot, Culham, Harwell and Berinsfield. Additionally up to £70m of cycle and other sustainable transport improvements are proposed for inclusion in the bid plan.

West Oxfordshire Garden Village – £135m is sought for further upgrades to the A40, building on existing schemes and based on the approved A40 Long Term Strategy including development of the Rapid Transit network and additional highway capacity on A40 transport corridor. This would support the delivery of over 10,000 homes in Witney & Carterton, and around Eynsham.

Detailed business plans will now be developed for the £300 million of transport infrastructure investment behind these two bids. The Growth Board partners expect to hear this autumn whether or not the two bids going through have ultimately succeeded.

More details on the HIF announcement here.

Government money is for major road improvements and cannot be used for day-to-day maintenance. However the investment will help to improve the overall standard of the road network.