DCLG puts in £9m to A34 slip roads scheme

Highways Reporters

Major improvements to the A34 in Abingdon look set to go ahead after communities secretary Sajid Javid pledged more than £9m of central government funding.

The scheme involves two new south-facing slip roads at the Lodge Hill Interchange, which could tackle congestion and support 1,700 new homes in Abingdon.

In total, the scheme is expected to cost £15.8m, with communities department DCLG due to provide £9.45m over four years and a further £6.4m coming from Section 106 agreements from existing and expected development sites.

The roads scheme is designed to help boost growth in the wider Science Vale area, where up to 20,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes could be created by 2031.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman told Highways that the project is currently working towards a three-year programme and this broadly includes design and construction.

The project has an estimated start date of summer 2019 and construction could last up to a year based on recent experiences at Chilton Highways was told, although that is a rough estimate before the completion of the designs.

Mr Javid said: ‘Most people are willing to accept new housing in their areas, but they don’t want to see massive development when local roads are already under pressure.

‘This funding will bring much-needed improvements to the A34 for motorists and help to deliver thousands of new homes that Oxfordshire desperately needs.’

Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘The delivery of much needed housing in and around Abingdon is heavily reliant on funding for new slips at Lodge Hill.

‘Residents have been concerned that large numbers of houses will be built before the necessary highway infrastructure is in place. This announcement means that vital infrastructure will be built at the early phase of development to cope with the associated additional traffic.

‘Oxfordshire County Council will continue to work with our partners at Highways England to deliver the scheme as quickly as possible to ensure Oxfordshire is a thriving place to live and work.’
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