Along with a few other interested people I had the opportunity of a full discussion of the Access to Headington plans with Transport Planning officers from the County Council. I shall be sending them my comments as part of the consultation exercise and will post them here too. Meanwhile, here is some more information about the aims and status of the plans.
The proposals which have been on show and which can be downloaded from the County website are at the feasibility stage. There has so far been no exploration of what lies below the ground so ideas may have to change when this is done and costs can be better estimated. The next stage, moving from ‘feasibility’ to ‘preliminary design’, will be done by consultants appointed by the County.
The money for the scheme is coming in large part from Government funds made available through the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Oxfordshire Growth Board (OGB)*. These organisations channel government money in support of economic growth in the region, which is one of the present government’s key objectives. In bidding for funds the County had to show how the scheme would support economic growth, so the objectives of the scheme are “to facilitate access to employment sites” in Headington. This means that there may well be other desirable improvements to local roads that fall outside the scope of the scheme. The money has to be spent by the end of March 2018.
Consultation on this stage of the scheme closes on 7 August. There’s more information on how to comment on the County’s website – see the link above.
* Other funds will come from contributions from developments such as Barton Park.