Science Vale Cycling Network (SVCN)

Routes for cyclists and pedestrians heading 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 Oxford, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre and key urban centres: Didcot Abingdon and Wantage within the Science Vale area.

Latest update and next steps

Route 6A (Didcot to Milton Park)

Majority of the construction was completed in 2018 and we were waiting for SSE connections and disconnections of street lights. These were completed earlier this year.

Route 6B (Didcot to Milton Park)

The Foxhill Road footbridge over the railway has now been changed to a shared use pedestrian and cycle facility to provide a safer route for cyclists between Milton Park and Didcot Park Railway Station.  Works including the installation of shared use signs, dropped kerb and road marking were completed in June 2019.

Remaining routes: what is being proposed?

The following schemes were selected to form Phase 1 of the Science Vale Cycling Network Project.

Map showing the sections selected to form Phase 1 (pdf format, 4Mb)

Route 1: Wantage to Harwell

Improvements to off-road routes between Wantage and Harwell Campus which includes a proposed new crossing at Ginge Brook. 

Route 3 Abingdon to Milton Park

Improvements to a mainly off-road route between Abingdon and Milton Park.   Construction expected to commence in October 2019.

Route 5 Didcot to Harwell

New stepped cycle tracks along Wantage Road to be constructed be part funded and constructed by Taylor Wimpey under a Section 278 agreement. Programmed to be constructed by January 2020.

Route 6: Didcot to Milton

Works complete for Sections 6A and 6B. 6C – proposed new shared use track on the northern side of B4493 between Foxhill Road and Mendip Heights.  Section 6C is currently as a reserve route due to ongoing negotiations with Network Rail.

Route 7A: Abingdon to Culham

Improvements to the existing off-road track along Abbey Meadows. Construction expected to commence in March 2020.

Route 8: Didcot to Culham

Proposed improvements to the existing track along Moor ditch between A4130 and B4016 (also called 8C). Currently in discussions with the developer to decide who is best placed to deliver this scheme. There are also proposed traffic calming amendments on route 8 section G.

Reserve Routes

Following latest budget estimations for all the routes in scope it was confirmed that the funding available would not be sufficient to improve all routes in scope. As a result, most desired routes were prioritised and the remaining were moved to a reserve list. There are currently 6 sections in reserve: 1A1, 1A2, 1L, 5A, 6C and 8J.

About the project


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

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
  • Abingdon to Milton Park
  • Didcot to Harwell Campus
  • Didcot to Milton Park
  • Abingdon to Culham Science Centre
  • Didcot to Culham Science Centre

What we have done so far

  • Completed construction on route 6A and 6B (Didcot to Milton Park along the Milton Road)
  • Agreement reached with Taylor Wimpey to build the cycle track on Route 5.
  • Design has been progressed for remaining schemes including enabling works which helped inform the design in order to start land negotiations where required.
  • Vegetation clearance been completed along the B4493 between Foxhill Road and Mendip Heights as part of scheme 6C.