County councillors have welcomed progress on a new A34 junction scheme which will remove traffic from Abingdon town centre.

The junction at Lodge Hill currently only has north-facing slip roads, but the scheme will add new south-facing slip roads, as well as making cycling and walking easier and safer in the area.

Adding the south-facing slip roads will remove traffic from the town centre as some drivers will no longer have to travel through it to access the A34 southbound at the Marcham interchange.

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Oxfordshire County Council has now entered into a grant funding agreement with Homes England to secure £17.3m towards the cost of the scheme.

The county council has also signed a contract with Balfour Beatty for the design and construction of the scheme.

thisisoxfordshire: The Lodge Hill junction on the A34Abingdon North county councillor Nathan Ley said: "People in Abingdon have waited far too long for this scheme to happen and it’s great that we are finally at this point with all the permissions and funding in place.

"It's also good that we now have the contractors signed up for the design and build and ready to crack on from later this year.

"We want to encourage people to travel around town for local journeys by sustainable means where possible, such as walking and cycling.

"Part of enabling this means reducing traffic through the centre of town by adding in the missing slip roads."

Detailed design has already begun, with construction of the local traffic calming works and the layby upgrades to the A34 expected to start later this year.

thisisoxfordshire: Abingdon county councillors Dr Nathan Ley and Neil FawcettThe main construction of the two new south-facing A34 slip roads is anticipated to start in autumn 2024, lasting approximately two years.

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Abingdon South county councillor Neil Fawcett said it was "brilliant" that work could now start to create the new slip roads.

He added: "There will be some disruption for drivers but I know the contractors will do everything they can to avoid disruption to traffic on the A34 itself.

"Once the work has been completed it will reduce congestion in the town centre and make it a much more enjoyable environment."

thisisoxfordshire: Traffic on the A34 near AbingdonJudy Roberts, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and development strategy, said securing funding from Homes England and appointing a design and build contractor represented major milestones for the project.

She added: "The council is now in a strong position to accelerate towards construction. This project has been in development for a long time and is much needed and wanted by the residents of Abingdon.”

The council will work in partnership with Balfour Beatty to satisfy the planning conditions as soon as practicably possible, as well as working with National Highways to agree the design and construction methodology, followed by construction of the new A34 slip roads.

Pauline Schaffer, Director of Infrastructure Funding at Homes England, said: "Our multi-million pound funding will provide strategic transport infrastructure, unlocking 820 homes in north Abingdon and supporting wider housing and economic growth in the area.

“We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.”

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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