Oxford

A40 dual carriageway and bus plan given £102m

A40 in Oxfordshire Image copyright Google
Image caption The stretch of the A40 is notorious for hold-ups and traffic jams

Plans to turn a section of the A40 into a dual carriageway have been backed with a £102m grant from the government.

Oxfordshire County Council was given the cash to widen the road to ease congestion between Witney and a proposed park and ride in Eynsham.

An extension of a bus lane westbound from Duke's Cut canal bridge to Eynsham is also proposed.

The government said the cash would "unlock" 5,050 homes to be built in west Oxfordshire.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said the cash would "help support people to achieve their dream of home ownership".

The council put in their bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to solve "chronic congestion" on the A40 which is used by an estimated 32,000 vehicles a day between Witney and Oxford.

Image copyright Oxfordshire County Council
Image caption Under the plans the A40 would be upgraded to a dual carriageway between Witney to Eynsham

The council said the plans aimed to "increase A40 capacity for all users of the route between Witney and Eynsham, while providing a high-quality, congestion-free public transport, cycling and walking for travel between Eynsham and Oxford".

Council leader Ian Hudspeth said the scheme would allow people to "make a choice" over how they travel.

The Conservative councillor said more people using the major road would stop "rat running" through the county's villages.

Labour councillor Laura Price said she welcomed the investment to "improve access to and experience of public transport" but said she was "concerned" by the government's approach to "funding local government in general".

"Our communities are told to welcome 'growth' in exchange for projects like this, at the same time as seeing their local bus routes decimated with no sign of them being reinstated," she added.

As well as this scheme, the council is building an £8m bus lane from Duke's Cut to Oxford.

Former prime minister and Witney MP David Cameron previously described the A40 as "a bit of a foot on the windpipe of west Oxfordshire economy" due to its congestion problems.

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