The speed limit on the Eastern Bypass and some of its approaches are likely to be cut from the national speed limit to 50mph ahead of a major road improvement scheme.

The westbound slip road on the Southern Bypass and parts of Old Abingdon Road will also be 50mph.

And a section of the Southern Bypass Road near Kennington Railway Bridge along with parts of Kennington Road and Old Abingdon Road will be reduced to 30mph.

The proposals are part of the wider A423 Kennington improvement works, which will replace the existing rail bridge structure which carries the A road.


A new eastbound bus lane will be created from Old Abingdon Road to Redbridge Park and Ride and a shared use path for cycling and walking.

The programme, which is expected to start next year, will also enable flood alleviation for the area as part of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, to be delivered by the Environment Agency.

Oxfordshire County Council first said the bridge needed to be replaced in 2019 and installed supports.

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It will be rebuilt one half at a time so that traffic can flow over the remaining half using contraflows.

About 53,000 vehicles – including 2,000 lorries and 350 coaches and buses – use the bridge every day and hundreds of trains travel daily underneath.

The works will cause travel disruption for two years.

The estimated cost of the whole scheme has since soared from £53million to £90million.

A total of 31 people or organisations responded to a consultation on the 50mph limits and on a new 30mph speed limit on parts of Old Abingdon Road, Kennington Road, and the A423 Southern bypass westbound slip road.

thisisoxfordshire: Kennington Railway Bridge Kennington Railway Bridge (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

In both - regarding the 50mph and 30mph speed limits - 84 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of them going ahead.

Thames Valley Police and bus company the Go-Ahead Group raised no objections and the bus company welcomed the wider A423 improvement works at Kennington.

Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for transport management Andrew Gant is now recommended to approve the measures at a meeting on Thursday.

And Bill Cotton, corporate director, environment and place, suggested the 50mph limit on the Eastern Bypass Road is likely to become permanent in the future.

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He said: "The 50mph speed limit is required to help support active travel along this section of the A423, and to align with future proposals to limit the speed along the ring road to 50mph.

"Similarly, the 30mph speed limits are required along Old Abingdon Road and Kennington Road to help support safe active travel proposals in the vicinity."

He added: "Despite the objections received believing the proposals to be unnecessary and a waste of money, officers feel that the overall objectives of the scheme - ie to help mitigate traffic congestion, improve journey times, and promote active travel in the area – justify the recommendation to proceed."