Your questions about Access to Witney answered

This page includes the most talked about elements of the Access to Witney scheme.

Access to Witney

The Access to Witney scheme seeks to improve access between Witney and the A40 as part of the Oxfordshire County Council Witney Transport Strategy within the Local Transport Plan 2031. 

The principal aims of the project are to:

  • reduce congestion and improve air quality in central Witney, including on Bridge Street and in the Air Quality Management Area
  • support the delivery of planned housing growth in Witney as set out the West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031
  • improve access to the A40 from northeast Witney.

When we will build this scheme

The scheme is currently is in design development. Subject to planning approval, construction is scheduled to start in late 2022 and to be completed by the end of 2023.

How much the Access to Witney scheme will cost

The estimated total value of the scheme is £13.9m.

How we are funding the scheme

The scheme is being funded via a combination of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and S106 contributions. 

Aligning the works with the A40 Smart Corridor

The Access to Witney scheme is not part of the A40 Smart Corridor schemes, and it has separate funding.

However, the scheme is close to the A40 highway improvements. We are aligning the works to reduces the potential impact on local communities.

The options we considered

We considered 33 options with the potential to tackle the identified issues with movement, congestion and air quality in Witney. These options comprised interventions across the whole of the Access to Witney study area and included:

  • upgraded junctions
  • new road links
  • public transport improvements,
  • active travel interventions
  • parking management. 

We assessed each option for its performance against the Access to Witney objectives and their:

  • feasibility
  • deliverability
  • affordability
  • acceptability. 

You can see the discounted options in the public consultation information.

How we arrived at the preferred option

We shortlisted five options for further review and assessment. We then identified the west-facing slip roads as the preferred option. After further analysis and design refinement, we produced three layouts for public engagement.

The signalised junctions with the B4022 slip road is the preferred layout. The layout:

  • requires the least amount of land
  • minimised the impact on local utilities 
  • is considered the safest layout for pedestrians and cyclists.

Improvements for cycling and walking

We plan to connect the new pedestrian and cycle network to:

  • the shared footway north of the B4022
  • the footway and bus stop east of the A40 overbridge.

The changes will provide improved walking and cycling connections to and from South Leigh and the wider A40 corridor.

Private land use for construction

The shortlist options will require small parcels of land to be acquired to accommodate the scheme’s footprint. 

Planning permission

The scheme will require planning permission. We are scheduled to apply to the planning authority in autumn 2022.

How the A40 and B4022 will be affected by construction works

There will be some disruption to traffic on the B4022 and to a lesser extent along the A40uring the construction. We will communicate the temporary traffic management plans in advance.

Traffic through local villages

The traffic modelling we have done so far has predicted there will not be an adverse impact on traffic flow through local villages.

However, we recognise concerns have been raised with regards to rat-running through local villages. Oxfordshire County Council is committed to working with the local parish communities to discuss potential mitigation measures.

Environmental impact

As part of the design development, we'll carry out a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA will assess the scheme's environmental implications, including impacts on:

  • existing ecology
  • noise
  • air quality
  • bio-diversity
  • climate change. 

We plan to complete the EIA at the end of 2021.