Work is starting to prepare for a new improved A34 junction near Abingdon.

The junction at Lodge Hill currently only has north-facing slip roads, but the scheme will add new south-facing slip roads, as well as making cycling and walking easier and safer in the area.

Adding the south-facing slip roads will remove traffic from the town centre as some drivers will no longer have to travel through it to access the A34 southbound at the Marcham interchange.

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Works for the scheme, which is being overseen by Oxfordshire County Council, is starting now.

The main construction of the two new south-facing A34 slip roads is anticipated to start in the autumn and take two years to complete.

In April, Oxfordshire County Council entered into a grant funding agreement with Homes England to secure £17.3m towards the cost of the scheme.

The county council has also signed a contract with Balfour Beatty for the design and construction of the scheme.

Abingdon South county councillor Neil Fawcett said earlier it was "brilliant" that work could now start to create the new slip roads.

He added: "There will be some disruption for drivers but I know the contractors will do everything they can to avoid disruption to traffic on the A34 itself.

"Once the work has been completed it will reduce congestion in the town centre and make it a much more enjoyable environment."

(Image: Oxford Mail) Abingdon North county councillor Nathan Ley has posted on Facebook an update for drivers, telling them there will be disruption at weekends.

He posted on June 28: "Starting from tonight - National Highways have said they need to make some essential upgrades to the Oxford Road/Lodge Hill A34 Bridge.

"They'll be replacing joints, installing new kerbs, and resurfacing the bridge

"Here's what you need to know: overnight closures: Two-way traffic lights from 8pm to 6am for seven nights starting tonight.

"Then weekend closures: July 12 to 15, and July 19 to 22. These will last from 9pm on Fridays to 6am on Mondays.

"A back-up weekend closure is also planned for August 2-5, just in case.

"During the road closures: Oxford Road (A4183) will be closed between Dunmore Road and Sugworth Lane."

(Image: Ed Nix) He added that the northbound entry slip road at Abingdon North would be closed during weekends, while the southbound exit slip road would be open, but traffic can only turn left to Abingdon.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran, who increased her majority at the general election, said earlier the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for the construction of improvements to the Lodge Hill junction on the A34 for 30 years.

She added she was excited that work was now getting under way.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.