Kennington improvements logo

A423 Kennington improvements programme

We are improving the Kennington stretch of the A423, by replacing the existing bridge structure and prioritising space for cycling, walking and public transport. The programme will also complement the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, to be delivered by the Environment Agency.

About the improvements

The A423 Kennington improvement programme includes:

  • the replacement of Kennington rail bridge.
  • a shared path for walking and cycling.
  • a new eastbound bus lane – also for use by vehicles travelling to Redbridge park and ride.
  • increased capacity of the Hinksey streams for flood alleviation.
Ariel view of the area surrounding Kenning bridge

Figure 1. A layout picture showing where the work will take place on the A423

Why we are investing here

We are investing across the county to provide a modern, sustainable travel network to enable people to rely less on their cars. This means putting better bus, as well as cycling and walking infrastructure at the centre of our major projects.

Kennington Rail bridge is in poor condition and needs to be replaced. Reconstruction of the bridge will ensure safety for all users as well as the opportunity to prioritise road space for bus, walking and cycling.


Activity Target date
Public engagement September - October 2022 - Complete
Planning application submission February 2022 - Complete
Trial holes to plan diversion of water main 24 January - 10 February 2023 - Complete
Planning application open for comments Thursday 9 March - Sunday 9 April 2023 - Complete
Inspection of the bearings on the bridge August 2023 - Complete
Detailed design Winter 2022 - Autumn 2023
Trial holes Winter 2023/24 and Spring 2024
Planning application outcome due Summer 2024
Start of main construction Autumn 2024

This may be subject to change, due to the complexities of the work involved.

What you can expect

Kennington rail bridge will remain open until we start building works. We will rebuild the bridge half at a time so that traffic can flow over the remaining half of the bridge.

Temporary widening and contraflow traffic management will also be in place (more details will be available closer to construction). Alternative routes will be provided and signed for pedestrians and cyclists throughout the work.

Ground investigation work - 2024 update

To help us finalise the designs and get ready for construction we will need to dig trial holes. This work may require diversions or temporary signage and traffic lights.

We will be working at the junction of the A423 Southern Bypass and Old Abingdon Road (eastbound) next to Redbridge Hollow for two weeks in May and June 2024.

24-hour closure - 28 to 31 May 2024

  • The junction will be completely closed for 24 hours each day from 9.30am on Tuesday 28 May until 11.59pm on Friday 31 May. 
  • Our working hours during this time will be between 7am and 6pm.

Overnight closures - 31 May to 12 June 2024 

  • The junction will be closed overnight from 9pm to 5am, from Friday 31 May to Wednesday 12 June. We will not be working on Sunday 2 June, Thursday 6 June and Sunday 9 June, and the junction will be open on these dates.
  • During the overnight closures, lane one of the A423 eastbound will also be closed between the A34 southbound exit slip road (Hinksey Hill interchange) and the Old Abingdon Road junction.

Diversion routes

During the closure of the Old Abingdon Road junction, the following signed diversion routes will be in place:

  • Old Abingdon Road junction diversion- travel eastbound along the A423 Southern Bypass road, before joining the A4144 northbound at the Kennington roundabout, and accessing Old Abingdon Road just after the Travelodge.
  • The same diversion applies in the reverse direction.

Footway and cycleway diversion

The footway and cycling route from the A423 Southern Bypass Road to the Old Abingdon Road will be closed from 9am Tuesday 28 May until 6am on Wednesday 12 June. During this time, the following signed temporary diversion routes will be in place:

  • From Redbridge Hollow, go to Kennington Road, continue under the road bridge and turn left to take the slip road. Turning left at the top continue on the south side of the A423 to the Hinksey Hill interchange, go round the interchange to re-join the route.
  • The same diversion applies in the reverse direction.

We will try to reduce noise as much as possible and aim to carry out the noisiest work during the earliest part of the overnight period. The working area needs to be lit with temporary lighting for safety when we work overnight. We apologise in advance for any disturbance caused.

We will also need to undertake several ecology surveys in the area soon, and we will provide more information when it is available.

Phase 1 - Safeguarding work

The bridge has already been propped at its piers and as part of phase one, the load-carrying capacity of the bridge will be increased for work to be carried out safely.

Phase 2 – Reconstruction

The bridge reconstruction work will involve several elements:

A423 Eastbound Lane

We are proposing to widen the A423 eastbound from Hinksey Hill to introduce an additional all-traffic lane for left-turning vehicles from the A34 Hinksey Hill roundabout to Old Abingdon Road, creating a three-lane carriageway.

The new lane from Old Abingdon Road to Redbridge park & ride will be for exclusive use by buses and vehicles using the Park and Ride. The approach to Kennington roundabout will become four lanes as a result of the additional bus/ park and ride traffic lane.

Walking and cycling facilities

We will create a shared-use path to the north of the A423 by upgrading the existing footway between Hinksey Hill and Old Abingdon Road.

The existing footway/ cycleway on the southern bridge of the rail bridge will be retained.

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS)

The work on the Kennington rail bridge forms an integral part of OFAS.

Combining the bridge replacement works with the flood alleviation scheme requirements will minimise disruption on the A423 and maximise value for money.

The Environmental Agency submitted its planning application in March 2022. For more information on OFAS, visit the EA FAQ page on their scheme.

Planning application

In autumn 2022 we opened a digital exhibition to showcase our plans and gave people the opportunity to share their views online or in person at four local events.

In February 2023 we submitted a planning application that was informed by the feedback we received.

The planning committee hoped to reach a decision in June, but due to the complexities of this project additional information has been requested and more time has been allowed to consider all relevant information. We now expect a decision in summer 2024.

How it is being funded

The scheme is being financed through multiple sources including the county council, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and OFAS.

Contact us

If you would like to know more, you can contact us by emailing