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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 October 2018 to Question 176638, what recent discussions his Department has held with Oxfordshire County Council on progress in delivering the A34 Lodge Hill scheme in Abingdon to the planned timescales; whether conditions on progress in delivering the project were attached to Government funding for that scheme; and if he will make a statement.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government are funding up to £9.4m to Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership between 2017/18 and 2020/21, under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003, for the delivery of the A34 Lodge Hill Scheme. MHCLG’s Cities and Local Growth Unit require updates and proof that the scheme is on track in order to make annual payments for the grant. As MHCLG are providing the funding, the Department for Transport has not had recent meetings with the Council about this.
The grant is intended to unlock up to 1700 new homes across four sites in Abingdon, relieve congestion, improve connectivity, and support economic growth to the wider Science Vale area.
Highways England are meeting with Oxfordshire County Council on a regular (monthly) basis as they develop their proposal to add south-facing slips to the A34 Lodge Hill interchange. They are currently compiling the evidence needed to demonstrates that the plans will not have an adverse effect upon the safe and efficient operation of the network.