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Didcot transport infrastructure is vital for the Vale 

The Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council has spoken of how important proposals for £300 million of transport projects in and around Didcot are to the district.

Planning applications by Oxfordshire County Council for the four projects known as HIF1 are due to be determined by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove.  

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Leader of the Vale, said: “Significant plans affecting our district are underpinned by much-needed transport infrastructure improvements in and around Didcot. 

“That includes a great deal of the district’s Local Plan, which sets out how we manage the housing, employment and infrastructure needs of the whole Vale. The HIF1 project will be largely government funded, so this is a rare opportunity for public major investment into local infrastructure.   

“Our district is home to Science Vale, which includes world-leading, cutting-edge science innovation, technology and development. Significantly important growth and new jobs in many of these sectors, are dependent on sufficient transport capacity being delivered.  

“We’ve already responded to the county council’s planning application setting out its importance to the Vale, and it will be vital for us to be party to the government’s public inquiry taking place in December, so we can ensure the needs and future prosperity of our district are properly represented. 

“Finally, it’s also important that the government takes heed of the wide range of local views on the subject – every voice and opinion is important, while the decision on Oxfordshire County Council’s planning application is being made nationally, it must be done with a local outlook.” 

Notes for editors 

In July, the Oxfordshire County Council Planning and Regulation Committee resolved to refuse a county council planning application for the HIF1 infrastructure projects. At this point, the government intervened and called the application in. It will now be subject to an eight-day public inquiry held by a Planning Inspector starting on 5 December. The inspector will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will make the final decision.  

There is more information on the projects on the Oxfordshire County Council website. In summary, the HIF1 scheme involves: 

  • A4130 dualling – linking Valley Park to Didcot Science Bridge
  • Didcot Science Bridge – a new bridge across the railway line and the former Didcot A power station site
  • Didcot to Culham River Crossing – a new link road and bridge over the River Thames
  • Clifton Hampden bypass – a new bypass to re-route traffic away from Clifton Hampden and Burcot.