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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
Planning application outcome due Autumn/Winter 2023
Start of main construction Winter/Spring 2023/24

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

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.

The next set of trial holes will be dug in early autumn 2023. The junction between the A423 and Old Abingdon Road will be closed overnight, and the diversion route will be via the A4144 Abingdon Road. Residents and the travelling public can expect overnight lane closures on the A423, but the road will remain open for traffic. More information including the dates and duration of the works will be coming soon.

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 autumn/winter 2023.

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 A423Kenningtonimprovements@oxfordshire.gov.uk