The Government has confirmed the release of £35m of Local Growth Fund (LGF) cash for a park and ride scheme and walking, cycling and bus improvements on the A40 in Oxfordshire.
Although the Department for Transport (DfT) described scheme as part of ‘plans to build back greener from the pandemic’, the announcement represents the release of previously agreed funding. The £12bn LGF ran from 2015/15 to 2020/21, with the DfT retaining control of allocations for a number of transport-relating schemes, re-announcing the cash when agreeing to its release.
The scheme will see an 850-space park and ride facility, including cycle parking and electric car charge points, built to the north-west of Eynsham, while new integrated bus lanes will be built on each carriageway and walking and cycling paths improved.
It forms part of a wider package of measures being carried out by Oxfordshire County Council in the area, including other sections of bus lane and a scheme to upgrade the A40 between east of Witney and the Eynsham park and ride site to dual carriageway.
Duncan Enright, the council’s cabinet member for travel and development strategy, said: ‘We are delighted the funding is confirmed to support transport, particularly regular swift buses and world-class cycle lanes, along this major route.’
Transport minister Baroness Vere said: ‘Local residents have suffered with traffic and congestion along the A40 for too long, which is why I’m thrilled to announce this multimillion-pound investment to improve the route, increase capacity and provide a significant boost to public transport.
‘And by building improved and safer infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, we will enable more people to take up active travel as a healthier and more sustainable way to get around.’
According to the DfT, the total cost of the scheme is £49.3m, with the remaining funding coming from the Oxfordshire Growth Deal – Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and private developer contributions.
According to the council, the anticipated cost of the parallel A40 integrated bus lane scheme is £34m, entirely funded from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.