Work set to start on improving cycling and walking route in Upton

Work is due to start this week to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians in a southern Oxfordshire village.

Oxfordshire County Council will be carrying out the work in Upton as part of the Chilton Road cycling scheme, a project seeking to make a National Cycle Network route (544) along Chilton Road. The seven week project is due to start on Friday 30 September and finish on 19 November.

The work will include the formal completion of the closure of Chilton Road to motorised traffic. The road has been closed to motorised vehicles since August 2020 on a temporary basis and the move have been predominantly well received.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “This is the first scheme in southern Oxfordshire that puts walking and cycling above motorised users. By closing off a road to motorised vehicles, we are setting the tone for delivering similar schemes in the area in the future.

“We are delighted to be able to help bring this section of the National Cycle Network up to standard and also help to improve links with the Science Vale Cycle Network routes.”

Funding for the project has come from the Department for Transport through walking and cycling charity Sustrans’ Paths for Everyone programme, using an active travel grant from the government, and the council’s accessibility and road safety fund.

Sarah Leeming, Director for South of England at Sustrans, said: “We’re so pleased to see this project coming to fruition. Making this a permanent active travel route will mean that people in the area can continue to make use of a safer and more enjoyable space to travel under their own steam, by foot, wheel or pedal. 

“This project, which is part of our Paths for Everyone programme, brings us one step closer to a National Cycle Network that is safer and more accessible for everyone.”

Work will involve improving the carriageway on London Road between the junctions of Station Road and Chilton Road and the installation of a new crossing on the A417 London Road between the Station Road and Chilton Road junctions.

The installation of permanent barriers at the Hagbourne Hill end of Chilton Road and a locked gate near the location of the current chicane are also planned to provide access for landowners. Relevant safety signage, including signs to highlight the changes, will also be implemented.

Temporary traffic signals will be in operation throughout the seven weeks. Station Road will be closed for the duration of the work and London Road will also be closed for resurfacing work on 18 - 19 November.

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