A £7.7m government cash injection for a long-awaited new road in Wantage has been welcomed by housing campaigners as 'very good news'.

Vale of White Horse District Council announced on Friday that its bid for cash towards the £15m Wantage Eastern Link Road had been successful.

Residents have long said the road, which will run around the new 1,500-home Crab Hill estate from the A338 to the A417, will be essential to keep commuters from the development using the town centre.

Julie Mabberley, manager of the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group, said: "It’s very good news and should mean that the road is completed quickly.

"According to correspondence with [Vale leader] councillor Barber in 2014, the Vale has also secured the ability to borrow at favourable rates to help accelerate the delivery of infrastructure so there should be no reason for the developers to wait for any houses to be completed before building the road.

"In addition this will release county money which would have been spent on this road for other projects in the area – perhaps they can use it to improve the cycle route out of town along the A417?"

The Vale said another £2.4m was previously allocated to the road by Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and it said the rest of the funds had already been pledged in Section 106 agreements from housing developers.

The Vale, county council and developers worked together to submit the funding bid to government late last year.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Philip Hammond announced it had been successful on Thursday.

Vale leader Matthew Barber said: "We welcome the funding for the new link road. This route is an important part of our plan to help bring new homes to the Vale over the next 20 years."

County leader Ian Hudspeth added: "This is fantastic news for Wantage and Oxfordshire.

"The funding will ensure infrastructure is provided at the early stage of development and provides better transport links between new housing and areas of employment."

The county council, which is responsible for building and maintaining roads, hopes to start the Wantage Eastern Link Road in 2019.

Council bosses from across the county also last week recommended that a £215m deal which will enable 100,000 homes across Oxfordshire is accepted.

The county’s Growth Board, made up of Oxfordshire’s six councils’ leaders, was offered the package in November by Philip Hammond as part of his Budget.

The leaders agreed their consent for the plan on Thursday and will now seek their respective councils’ approval over coming weeks.

Of that £215 deal, £150m would be used for transport infrastructure, £60m to guarantee affordable housing and £5m would be used to aid the planning process.