Work on a vital piece of Bicester’s infrastructure is set to start next month. Plans to realign the A4095, Howes Lane in West Bicester have been in the pipeline since 2016 but thanks to extensive collaboration by Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council, Network Rail, utility firms, and local landowners, work on the first phase will begin in October.
The road realignment scheme will work to address traffic congestion on the A4095 and Bucknell Road and support the delivery of the North West Bicester eco-town development. The first phase of the project will consist of a rail underbridge to accommodate the realigned Howes Lane together with a separate underpass through the railway embankment. The underpass will open a new route for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders, eliminating the current obstacle of the embankment. A brief railway closure over the Easter period of 2021 has been agreed with Network Rail to allow safe insertion of the steel underbridge while minimising disruption to the public.
The work is being financed by a £23.5 million Government investment secured by the Oxfordshire Growth Board – a joint committee of all six Oxfordshire Councils including Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.
Bicester Conservatives said: “As Bicester grows it is important that our local road capacity keeps pace. Howes Lane, as the name suggests, is a small country lane with residential properties backing onto it. Over recent years it has carried an increasing flow of traffic as a result of local housing and commercial developments. Its realignment is a significant piece of new infrastructure for our town. As well as helping to ease pressure on our roads the project will connect communities, and deliver active travel options including spacious walkways and new cycle lanes that will benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. We are grateful to all the partners that have come together to secure the funding for, and bring forth the development of, this vital project.”