Major transport improvements in Didcot Garden Town: £218m Housing Infrastructure Fund bid

Oxfordshire County Council has submitted a Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) business case to the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) associated with expected growth in the Didcot Garden Town area. It sets out how we want to improve travel for residents, communities and business and support thousands of new homes and jobs.

If successful, this bid for £218m (towards a total of £234m) will deliver:

  • 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 A4130 and A415; and

  • A Clifton Hampden Bypass

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 growth in the past three decades 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. The HIF schemes have previously been identified in Local Plan development to deliver growth across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts.

Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said:

“This bid for more than £200m shows the sustainable growth ambitions of Oxfordshire. It demonstrates that Government is listening and the recognition that infrastructure is required in parallel to the delivery of new homes. The infrastructure will also be vital to economic growth and support job creation in an area important to the local and national economy whilst helping to support the objectives of Didcot Garden Town.”

Cllr Jane Murphy, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, and Chairman of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, said: “We are committed to ensuring our residents get the infrastructure that’s vitally needed in our district and in Oxfordshire as a whole – it’s one of the reasons we applied for garden town status for Didcot in the first place. We believe this bid is a strong one and we’re working positively and constructively with all our partners, including the government, to ensure this remains one of the best places to live in the country.”

The HIF schemes have previously been identified in the district councils’ Local Plan development to deliver growth across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse. The county council has been working in partnership with the two district councils to help enable this necessary infrastructure.

Oxfordshire County Council held a consultation to hear residents’ views on our plans to support growth around Didcot in late 2018.

Oxfordshire County Council expects to hear the outcome of the funding bid by early summer 2019.