Six councils close to finalising the plan that will help secure vital investment in roads and infrastructure for Oxfordshire

Following the launch of its consultation on the draft Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy in July, the six Oxfordshire councils are close to finalising the report.

The draft Infrastructure Strategy is an independent report commissioned by Oxfordshire’s six councils who make up the Oxfordshire Growth Board. Developed in partnership, it sets out the investment in transport, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure needed to support the predicted growth in population, and meet the future needs of Oxfordshire families, their children and grandchildren in terms of jobs and homes across the county to 2040 and beyond.

Major investment projects include:

  • Improvements to the A34
  • Rapid bus routes linking key locations
  • East-West Rail connecting Oxford to Cambridge
  • A long term strategy to address congestion on the A40
  • Redevelopment of Oxford Station
  • A new Garden Town for Didcot
  • Incentives to encourage businesses to locate and expand within the Science Vale.

Once adopted, the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy will provide an agreed template for planning and directing around £9 billion of mainly central government investment to support Oxfordshire’s growth to 2040 and beyond. The Oxfordshire Growth Board will consider the final report on 26 September 2017.

That investment is linked to number of key national decisions expected over the next few months. These include the publication of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and the second report from the National Infrastructure Commission; allocations from the Housing Investment Fund and the autumn Budget.

There is still time for residents and businesses to have their say on the emerging infrastructure strategy for Oxfordshire before 10 September 2017 by visiting: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/growthboard.

Councillor Bob Price, Chair of the Growth Board and Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “Across the county, people need places to live, with a great environment, transport and other vital infrastructure to support them. Oxfordshire sits at the centre of the UK’s knowledge economy and must play a key role in the nation’s future growth story. This is only possible by attracting significant investment to the region, and the Infrastructure Strategy shows Government and other infrastructure funding partners the investment Oxfordshire needs in a clear and co-ordinated way. It helps set Oxfordshire’s course for the future.”

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council and Growth Board member, said: “As the lead for transport and highways in the county; improved, new and appropriate infrastructure is key to how we see Oxfordshire growing and developing in the coming years. We want to see benefits for both new and existing residents. To achieve this we are working closely with partners including OxLEP, our Local Enterprise Partnership, and all of our local planning authorities. This joined-up approach in Oxfordshire is vital if we are to achieve our ambitions through this strategy.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership), said: “The need to ensure Oxfordshire benefits from an infrastructure that is fit for purpose and one that doesn’t hold back dynamic economic growth – whilst being sensitive to the environment – is a key priority.

“As a county, we need to maintain growth but – similarly – ensure that our future infrastructure fully-supports our desire to grow.”

The Oxfordshire Growth Board is a joint committee of the six councils, formed to provide strategic planning for all the challenges that the growth agenda for Oxfordshire brings.

The six councils represented on the Oxfordshire Growth Board are Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council.

This release is issued on behalf of the Oxfordshire Growth Board.