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OCC Updates News

County Councillor report: May 2024 23 May 2024 Dan Levy has a further brief report on County Council matters, including the contentious Park & Ride...

  1. Roads

County Councillor Dan LevyRoad repair activity is picking up as the weather improves. That does mean that there will be road closures to enable the work to happen. I wish we could invest more in road repair activity. The outgoing government grants approximately £20m for road repairs, and it would cost about £45m per annum to keep things from getting worse. They put an additional £2m in the recentish financial statement, and the County Council added £5m.

  1. Park and Ride

The Park and Ride in Eynsham has been in the press recently. I thought I would explain what is happening, given that there has been some political mischief and dishonesty on the topic.

The P&R, dualling from Barnard Gate and Bus Lanes to Wolvercote was a scheme developed by the previous, pre 2021 election, administration and inherited by the new administration formed by Lib Dems, Greens and Labour in May 21. It was to be funded out of two separate funds, a “Science Corridor” fund, which has paid for the P&R and Shores Green, and a Homes England Fund, HIF2, to pay for the A40 work.

The scheme was too ambitious and was downsized as inflation made the costs impossible. The dualling was deferred into a later phase. However, Homes England has failed to deliver the funding promised, while costs continue to increase. Until Homes England delivers, the funding for the junctions will not appear.

I do not intend to spend Oxfordshire Council taxpayers’ money on the junctions. The County Council is in talks with Homes England and with the Department for Transport.

In hindsight, it was a mistake to carry on with a scheme we inherited, and to trust that the government would deliver what it had promised.

3. Oxford United

In my role as Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, I have been in negotiations with the owner of Oxford United. The objective was to provide the land for a new stadium in Kidlington, and to ensure that the club fulfils its promises to the local communities in Blackbird Leys and Kidlington, and its wider promises in areas such as developing a carbon neutral stadium and to ensure that the men’s and women’s teams have a right to play in the new stadium regardless of changes in ownership of the stadium. I am pleased that we concluded those negotiations successfully, just in time for the club to do a victory lap at Wembley.

The next stage is for the club to get planning permission from Cherwell District Council, and there will be key areas for them to address including the effect on the major roads and in particular on the roundabouts on the A40, A34 and A44.

As ever, I can be contacted at any time on dan.levy@oxfordshire.gov.uk


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