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Over £7.3 million given for transport and school improvements

Over £7.3 million will go towards transport improvements and school extensions in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse thanks to funds the two district councils have raised from housing developers building in the districts.

South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils have allocated £7,326,066.92 to Oxfordshire County Council to help widen pavements, join up cycle routes, improve road safety and to expand six schools in their districts.

£6,564,745.43 for projects in South Oxfordshire and £761,321.49 for schemes in the Vale of White Horse has been given to the county council, as the authority that oversees transport infrastructure and education provision, to ensure the right facilities, such as road improvements and bigger schools are built to manage the increase in new residents. The money was collected from the Community Infrastructure Levy, known as CIL, which is paid by developers to help

provide new and enhanced infrastructure to meet the demands of extra people moving into the area.

New traffic junctions, cycling and pedestrian routes are set to be completed in the districts including a new roundabout and road safety signs for the school around Mill Lane in Chinnor. 

For children walking or cycling to school, a new pedestrian crossing will be created on Wantage Road in Didcot near to Didcot Girls’ School and on Northcourt Road in Abingdon near Dunmore School.  For other areas, new crossings will be built near to Lidl in Wallingford, on Wellington Street in Thame and on Gravel Hill in Henley. Various schemes to widen pathways are also being funded in Benson, Towersey, Appleford and Kingston Bagpuize.

To increase pedestrian and road safety, in Faringdon town centre and in Sydenham, vehicles will be limited to a maximum of 20 mph.  Funds to enable new traffic calming measures will be created between Goring Heath and Crays Pond, between Aston Rowant and Kingston Blount, and on the B4009 in Lewknor.  Plans also include installing new lighting and a pavement on the triangle in Fyfield along the A420. 

Cllr Robin Bennett, Cabinet Member for Development and Regeneration at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We are delighted to allocate funds from developers to provide better cycle routes, pedestrian areas and to help increase road safety.  Building the right infrastructure and giving residents more confidence to travel on foot or by bike will help to protect the environment and tackle climate change – something we’re keen to encourage everyone to do.”

As well as road improvements CIL funds will help local schools to increase in size and improve facilities to help accommodate families moving into the area. Wallingford Secondary School will be expanded to allow an extra 300 pupils and the size of local primary schools in Benson, Chinnor, Cholsey, Kingston Bagpuize and Radley will be extended to each accept around 100 more pupils. 

Cllr Judy Roberts, Cabinet member for Development and Infrastructure at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “With the increase of families moving into the area, this funding will help to ensure all children have the space and the right environment so they can enjoy going to school and teachers are able to provide them with a good education.”

Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We welcome this opportunity to work with our district colleagues to put this money to good use by improving our schools and making our roads safer. I am sure the communities affected will look forward to seeing the benefits of these investments.”