Witney High Street and Market Square enhancements scheme

A scheme to deliver street improvements that support and maintain the new traffic arrangement

About the improvements

Our vision is for Witney High Street and Market Square to be a healthy, attractive and historically rich environment that complements the character and vibrancy of the market town whilst managing the impacts of climate change through improved opportunities for walking, cycling and the use of public transport. 

To deliver the vision, we are proposing five key objectives to be achieved by the project:

  • Enhance public spaces while protecting the town’s history and character
  • Support local businesses and the markets
  • Make it easier and more enjoyable to walk, wheel and cycle
  • Upgrade access to public transport
  • Improve safety for all users

What you can expect

The scheme is at an early stage and a design is yet to be developed. We have been seeking the views of Witney residents and businesses to help shape the designs by finding out what is important to the local community. This has included:

  • Leaflets, letters and posters, social media posts
  • A survey (online/paper) and interactive map that was open between 5 September and 3 October 2023
  • Two public engagement drop-in events
  • A workshop with local councillors
  • A workshop with local businesses

This information will be used to develop proposals which we will consult on next year. 

Community engagement results 

The results from our informal community engagement are now published in the Witney High Street engagement report. Supporting documents and an overview of the scheme can be found on Let’s Talk Oxfordshire.

The results show that most respondents support the scheme objectives and the most requested improvements for the High Street designs are better footway surfacing, more trees, more plants/gardens and more seating.

Why we are investing here?

Last year Oxfordshire County Council decided the traffic restriction on Witney High Street and Market Square should remain. Now that there are much fewer cars travelling through the High Street and Market Square, we can look again at how road space could be reallocated to make the town centre a better place to spend time for shopping or leisure.

The improvements would aim to complement the town’s history and character but would also help to improve the look and feel of Witney for visitors and for those arriving by walking, cycling or public transport.

Minimising the impact

As we have not approved a design option for construction, the traffic management arrangements are yet to be confirmed. We will coordinate future work to minimise the impact on local businesses, visitors and residents. Further details of this will be available on our website and in local notices closer to the construction stage.

How it is being funded

Oxfordshire County Council has been awarded £1.98m from the government’s active travel fund - Active Travel England - GOV.UK

Next steps

Feedback received from the community engagement exercise will help to shape the draft plan for the project. Planners will develop a draft (preliminary) design that is both based on people’s feedback and is within the budget and requirements of the funding.

A formal consultation on the draft design will take place during spring 2024. That feedback will then be reviewed and used to make any necessary amendments to the draft design in summer 2024, before construction begins in the autumn.


Activity Date
Autumn 2023 Community engagement
Spring 2024 Public consultation to review design proposals
Summer 2024 Final design option  agreed
Autumn 2024 Construction start
Spring 2025 Construction finish

Contact us

If you would like to know more about the project, you can contact us by email: witneyhighstreet@oxfordshire.gov.uk , or by writing to:

Witney High Street Project
Oxfordshire County Council
County Hall
New Road
OX1 1ND.