illustration of a road and two house

Watlington Relief Road

A scheme to provide an alternative route and direct access to the B4009 either side of Watlington, without the need to travel through the historic town.

About the improvements

The Watlington Relief Road will run from the western side of Watlington on the B4009, looping northwards and connecting back to the B4009 on the eastern side of the town. 

The relief road aims to connect a series of existing and proposed developments around the northern and western sides of Watlington, with some sections being delivered by developers and some directly by Oxfordshire County Council.

Why we are investing here?

A corridor for the relief road was previously identified and adopted in the Watlington Neighbourhood Development Plan in 2018.  It was also designated as a ‘safeguarded route’ in the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035, in 2020.  

Its aim is to alleviate congestion, noise and air pollution in the town centre and enable future housing developments, by offering more sustainable modes of transport including cycling and walking.

What you can expect

The relief road will feature:

  • two roundabouts
  • one T-junction
  • three shared-use zebra crossings, and 
  • walking and cycling infrastructure to support active travel. 

The council proposes to construct three sections between the housing developments:  

  • Revised alignment for the T-junction at Britwell Road / Harmans Way, providing priority for access on to the relief road.
  • The section of the relief road between the Bloor Homes and Redrow developments including a bridge over Chalgrove Brook and a new roundabout at the junction with B480 Cuxham Road.
  • The eastern end of the relief road between the Redrow development, at Pyrton Lane, and the B4009 Shirburn Road including provision of the loop at Icknield Community College and a new roundabout at the junction with the B4009.

Bloor Homes and Redrow will be responsible for the sections of road next to their respective developments.

The image shows the proposed alignment of the Watlington Relief Road through the approved housing developments.

General arrangement plan drawings are available to download on the right side of the page.


Public consultation about the Watlington Neighbourhood Development Plan, which would have included the need for the road itself, took place in 2018. In addition, as part of the assessment of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan, viability of the Watlington Relief Road was examined by inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State. The examination hearings were held in July and August 2020.

An Optioneering Appraisal Report (OAR) was published and shared with parish councils in March 2021 and was approved by OCC Cabinet in September 2021 (item 92/21).

Construction is anticipated to commence in Autumn 2024 and last until Autumn 2025. A detailed construction programme will be provided as the project progresses.

Minimising the impact

We will coordinate the work to minimise the impact on the network as far as is reasonably practicable. Further details of this will be available prior to the start of construction.

How it is being funded

The project is being funded through a combination of Growth Deal funding and Section 106 contributions from developers.

Next steps

A public consultation took place over four weeks during February and March 2023. It showcased the design details and road layout for the sections of the Watlington Relief Road, which will be delivered by the council. Members of the public were able to share their views on the proposals through an online questionnaire. You can still view the consultation page, drawings and FAQs on our Let’s Talk Oxfordshire platform; however, the survey is closed to contributions.

A report detailing the results of the survey can be found on the Let’s Talk platform. You can also download the report from the right side of this page.

A planning application (ref R3.0010/24) was submitted in December 2023. We anticipate a planning decision in May 2024.

Archaeological survey investigations

Archaeological works took place over three weeks in late November/ early December 2023

Contact us

If you would like to know more, you can contact us via email