THE FINAL layout for major roadworks around Didcot costing £234m has been revealed, including two bridges and a new bypass set to ‘unlock’ thousands of homes.

Oxfordshire County Council announced last month it had been awarded £218m of government grant funding for the Didcot Garden Town Infrastructure project, after a bid which had been three years in the making.

The funding will be topped up by an extra £16m from council coffers, funded by housing developers, to meet the overall costs for four main projects around Didcot.

There are:

  • Widening the A4130 from A34 Milton Interchange towards Didcot from single to dual carriageway;
  • a new Science Bridge over the A4130, Great Western Railway Line and Milton Road into the former Didcot A Power Station site;
  • a new Didcot to Culham bridge between the A4130 and A415;
  • and a Clifton Hampden bypass.

It is hoped these four projects will create enough space on the roads for 11,711 new homes on several sites around Didcot, of which approximately 4,200 will be affordable.

As the county council’s cabinet met on Tuesday, it approved the planned routes for all these options.

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This followed months of hearing opinions of residents in the area, who were shown the different options for where the roads could be built.

The overall scheme was hailed by deputy council leader Judith Heathcoat as a ‘great boost’ for Didcot.

Herald Series:

Judith Heathcoat

The part of the scheme which had the largest set of options on the table was the new Didcot to Culham bridge over the Thames, which also includes a link road between the A415 to the north and Didcot to the south.

The preferred route is west of the Culham Science Park and the railway line to Oxford, which connected to the A415 with a new roundabout.

The link road would pass over landfill and gravel quarry sites east of Sutton Courtenay.

Cabinet member Lorraine Lindsay-Gale praised the new bridge, and said it was ‘desperately needed’ as other river crossings nearby were single track and often controlled by traffic lights.

The planned Clifton Hampden bypass would run north and west of the village, linking the B4015 or Oxford Road with the A415 without having to travel through Clifton Hampden.

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The new ‘Science Bridge’ would connect the town with the Power Station A site, which is earmarked for development as demolition there is ongoing.

The works would need to be completed by 2024 at the latest.

Herald Series:

A map of the proposed works. Picture: OCC

Transforming Didcot into a ‘garden town’ has been an ambition of various local politicians for several years.

A garden town is described as one where a ‘holistic approach’ to development leads to improvements in the environment, tackles climate change, creates high quality homes and provides jobs.

Most garden towns are newly planned and built, and a delivery plan to transform Didcot into one of these settlements describes redesigning the existing town as a ‘challenging task’.

An advisory board made up of a coalition of different local councillors, government staff and business representatives is helping to realise the ambition to make Didcot a garden town.

It held its first ever public meeting on Monday, July 13.