Science Vale Cycle Network (SVCN)

Cycle and pedestrian routes to Milton Park, Harwell Campus and Culham Science Centre.

The project aims at providing easier and greater connectivity between three main employment centres at Harwell Campus, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre and key urban centres: Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage within the Science Vale area.

Latest construction update – Route 5 

Route 5 (G): Didcot to Harwell Campus (Wantage Road) 

  • Work is progressing well on the north side of Wantage Road, with the final section (Manor Crescent to the roundabout) well underway. This section should be completed in the first week of April.
  • The contractor has also now commenced work on the south side of Wantage Road, starting at the west end (by the Community Hospital) and progressing west. The amount of work on the south side is much smaller and progress is expected to be much quicker.
  • Additional and replacement streetlights are currently being installed, with majority of them already in place.
  • The new signage has been erected.
  • Making good and seeding of grass areas is underway. 
  • Coloured surfacing at junctions, further white lining and road markings are programmed to be completed early April.
  • Construction completion is expected by late of April.

For latest photos and to download your Wantage Road Cycling Leaflet please visit our SVCN bulletin.

Completed Routes (1, 3, 6, 7 and 8)

Remaining safety work 

  • For the past few weeks (since the main opening of Routes 1, 3D, 7A and 8) we have progressed, and completed, the majority of the additional work scheduled as part of the post-construction safety review.
  • These include additional bollards, reflective strips in key locations, additional signage, vegetation clearance, removal of stones from the path edge of Route 7A, remedy the loose stone issue on sections of Route 1 and much more. 

Route 1 – Loose stones  

  • Over the next couple of weeks our contractor will continue to sweep off and remove the loose stones from sections D, F and part of G (bridge side), which will expose the compacted path underneath, which should allow safer cycling and a more suitable finish.
  • Sweeping work on the remaining sections will be scheduled shortly. As the paths have just been repaired, they need a few months to settle properly before exposing the final surface. We are grateful for your patience.

What is being proposed?

The following routes and sections form Phase 1 of the Science Vale Cycling Network Project

Route 1: Wantage to Harwell Campus – The “Icknield Greenway”

This route (approx. 5000m) from West Lockinge, through Ardington Village to Hungerford Road, West Hendred  now allows cyclists traveling from Wantage to Harwell Campus to avoid the main roads of A417 and A4185 and should reduce their journeys, shared with road traffic, by over two miles, in each direction. Users can now benefit from improved, widened and surfaced paths (with Type 1 compacted stone), appropriate for this unique rural setting. The old wooden bridge, over the Ginge Brook, is now replaced with a 20m-long steel bridge with a wooden deck and parapets. Work also included dedication of two sections as bridleways to facilitate cycling and horse-riding.

The new cycle route width varies from 2.0m, where low user numbers are expected, to 3.6m, where shared use, with large agricultural machines, are allowed.

Sections explained:

  • Section 1B (bridleway 285/7 from West Lockinge to School Lane, Ardington)
  • Section 1C (Ardington Village – signage at key turning points only)
  • Section 1F2 (Ginge Brook including Ginge Brook Bridge)
  • Section 1D (farm track with footpath upgraded to bridleway from East Ardington to Red Barn)
  • Section 1G2 (byway 403/9 Ginge Brook to Ginge Road. Includes closure of footpath 403/4)
  • Section 1E2 (new bridleway on farm track from Red Barn to Ginge Brook)
  • Sections 1H2-1K2 (byway 403/9 and restricted byway 119/17 from Ginge Road to Hungerford Rd)

Route 3 Abingdon to Milton Park

3B1/3B2 (Peep-O-Day-Lane)

Upgrade to existing byway at Peep-O-Day-Lane between Drayton Road and Quarry Road (approx. 700m) and the path along Thames Water Treatment Facility (approx. 600m), to allow use by cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians. The works completed to 3B1/3B2 include widening of the existing paths to achieve 2.5m average width with localised narrowing where necessary. Low-level illumination is provided to guide users at night.

3D/(C) (Milton Park to Sutton Courtenay)

Improvements to an off-road section (approx. 700m) between Milton Park and Sutton Courtenay, to achieve a 3m wide shared-use path with a hard-paved surface and 1m wide grass verges on either side. Low-level illumination is provided to guide users at night. Work also included a new dropped kerb. Cyclists can now benefit from improved signage along Drayton Road, Brook Street, High Street and Milton Road (3C).

Route 5 Didcot to Harwell Campus

New stepped cycle track (approx. 900m) along Wantage Road, between Didcot Community Hospital and the B4493 Wantage Road Roundabout will be part funded and constructed by Taylor Wimpey under Section 278 agreement.

Latest design drawings for Route 5G can be found below:

Route 6 Didcot to Milton Park

6A- Street lighting scheme along north side of Milton Road, Didcot, between the roundabouts with Park Drive and the A3130. Speed limit reduction to 40mph, installation of new traffic signals and speed limit signs. 

6B- Conversion of an existing footpath on the east side of the Foxhall Road (north of the Station Road roundabout) and on the north side of the Station Road, into a shared-use facility. The work included installation of a dropped kerb, additional signage and road markings, resurfacing, vegetation clearance, and street signs relocation at the Foxhall Road and Station Road, Didcot.  

Route 7A: Abingdon to Culham Science Centre

Improvements to the existing off-road tracks (approx. 1100m) along Abbey Meadows (from Abbey Close to Barton Lane), to provide a minimum 2.5m-wide shared-use path, suitable for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians, with localised narrowing where necessary.  Low-level illumination is provided to guide users at night. CellWeb and Flexipave materials were used to ensure the widespread tree roots are protected.

Route 8 Didcot to Culham Science Centre

Section 8G1 consists of two buildouts situated on the High Street in Long Wittenham (at the Red Barn and at No 35 High Street). New ramped cycle by-pass lanes were provided at these two buildouts, including changes to road markings, new bollards and new cycle approach lanes.

Reserve routes

Due to COVID-19 impact on design resources and no funding available to complete construction, the reserve routes will not be delivered as part of SVCN Phase 1.

About the project

Objectives

The primary aim of the project is to improve routes for cyclists and pedestrians and to make cycling a more attractive choice. It adds a key layer to the Science Vale transport network to encourage sustainable travel across the area for cyclists and pedestrians, who are going to benefit from improved facilities for many journeys, not just those to or from work.

The constructed cycle routes cover a geographic area of southern Oxfordshire including Didcot, Abingdon, Wantage, Milton Park, Culham Science Centre and Harwell Campus.

Key benefits

  • Reduce congestion on roads
  • Make Science Vale a more attractive place to live and work
  • Help support the future growth of Science Vale
  • Provide better routes to encourage more people to switch from cars to cycling and walking

Background information

This project aims at improving and creating cycling provision within six key corridors:

  • Wantage to Harwell Campus (Route 1)
  • Abingdon to Milton Park (Route 3)
  • Didcot to Harwell Campus (Route 5)
  • Didcot to Milton Park (Route 6)
  • Abingdon to Culham Science Centre (Route 7A)
  • Didcot to Culham Science Centre (Route 8)