Plans submitted for A423 Kennington improvements

*This story was updated on 6 March to add the link to the application and the dates for the consultation

Improvements to the A423 in Kennington have taken a step forward with the submission of a planning application. 

The improvements proposed include the replacement of the existing rail bridge structure, allowing for a new eastbound bus lane and a shared use path on the north side for cycling and walking. The programme will also enable flood alleviation for the area as part of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, to be delivered by the Environment Agency. 

The planning application, submitted on Wednesday 1 February, follows engagement with residents, businesses, the travelling public and stakeholders, who were invited to share their views on the work. Oxfordshire County Council hosted a digital exhibition of the plans from Monday 26 September to Sunday 23 October and four events for communities. 

Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, said: “I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to visit an event, email the team or attend a meeting. Your feedback has informed the planning submission we have made, and we will also be using your feedback to keep you better informed about the improvements when work starts this winter.” 

The application will be open for comment from 9 March to 9 April and can be found by going to the Oxfordshire County Council planning portal and searching for reference R3.0033/23. The full website link can be found below. Following this period, the planning committee hopes to reach a decision in June. 

Oxfordshire County Council will continue with detailed design work, alongside its contractor Stantec, until summer 2023. 

Ground investigation work will also continue, with trial holes currently being dug to help plan the diversion of water mains as part of the A423 improvements. This work started on 24 January and is expected to end on 10 February. 

The main construction is expected to start in winter 2023/24 and run through to 2026. 

Kennington Rail Bridge will remain open until building works starts and then be replaced one half at a time. Temporary widening and contraflow traffic management will also be in place to manage traffic flow over the bridge. 

The timeline may be subject to change, due to the complexities of the work involved. Several utility and communications cables run under the bridge and the improvements will require close working with Network Rail. 

The county council is also assessing the impact that Network Rail's plans to close the Botley Road for the Oxford rail station redevelopment may have on the timing of its own schemes in and around Oxford.