Cherwell council backs bid for cash to improve roads

Cherwell District Council leader Barry Wood. NNL-170214-171809001
Cherwell District Council leader Barry Wood. NNL-170214-171809001

Cherwell District Council is backing a county bid for £152 million, some of which would be used to provide essential transport improvements in north Oxfordshire.

The district council leader Cllr Barry Wood said this week that Cherwell will be backing an application to release £152m of Government funding for the purpose.

Cllr Wood said he is committed to supporting Oxfordshire County Council in its bid to obtain up to £458m of Housing Infrastructure Funding to deliver three key projects.

If successful, £152m would be used to deliver educational needs and transport improvements in north Oxfordshire, specifically around the A44 and A4260.

Cllr Wood said in a statement: “As part of our commitment to supporting Oxford’s unmet housing need, we have agreed to deliver an additional 4,400 homes in Cherwell, which will be reliant on these key transport corridors.

“We know these routes are already under immense pressure, so we need to work with the county council to ensure that as we deliver the homes, they deliver the essential infrastructure to ensure that any potential problems are eliminated rather than escalated.

“The Housing Infrastructure Fund is intended to support housing growth by ensuring the right infrastructure is in place at the right time and this bid would give the county council the funds to make vital improvements to a key transport corridor in the district.

“This bid would not only support the district’s housing growth, but also our ambitious plans to grow the district overall to make it an excellent place to live among a thriving economy and with diverse employment opportunities.”

The £152m bid would support the development of Rapid Transit public transport lines along the upgraded A44 and A4260 as well as a new Park and Ride at Oxford Airport.

The bid would also allocate £46m to improving pedestrian and cycle routes and would support two other key projects including a £135.4m project for upgrades on the A40 in west Oxfordshire and a £171m scheme to improve key routes in Didcot.

The county council’s cabinet discussed the plans at its meeting this week.