Science Vale Cycle Network Project – Newsletter from Oxfordshire County Council
Science Vale Cycle Network Update – June 2020
Cycle and Pedestrian Routes to Milton Park, Harwell Campus and Culham Science Centre
Welcome to the first bulletin with the latest news on the building of the Science Vale Cycle Network (aka SVCN Project Phase 1).
How we’re getting on with the work
Route 1 (B-K2): Wantage to Harwell Campus ” Icknield Greenway”
This route (approx. 4700m) will allow cyclists travelling from Wantage to Harwell Campus to avoid the main roads of A417 and A4185 and will reduce their journeys shared with road traffic by over 2 miles, in each direction. Users will benefit from a much improved, widened and surfaced (with Type 1 Limestone) paths, appropriate for this unique rural setting. The old wooden bridge, over Ginge Brook, will be replaced with a 20m-long galvenised steel bridge with wooden deck and parapets. There will also be improvements to two newly dedicated bridleways. Detailed route locations are shown below and on the project page.
Construction started on 26th May 2020 and is due to be completed on 16th October 2020.
The works started on sections 1B (bridleway 285/7 from West Lockinge to School Road, Ardington, via Christopher’s Wood), and 1F2&1G2 (Ginge Brook crossing and byway 403/9 to Ginge Road) in preparation for the Ginge Brook bridge installation this Summer. Works on section 1E2 (Red Barn to Ginge Brook) are starting on 8th June.
For latest diversions, with closure dates and drawings, please visit our project page.
Note: section 1E2 will not be closed as there will be a parallel path marked for users, so there is no need for an alternative diversion route.
Route 1 Construction Programme:
26 May – 17 June 2020:
Section 1B (bridleway 285/7 from West Lockinge to School Road, Ardington)
26 May – 1 October 2020:
Section 1F2 (Ginge Brook)
26 May – 14 October 2020:
Section 1G2 (byway 403/9 Ginge Brook to Ginge Rd. Includes closure of footpath 403/4)
8 June – 17 July 2020:
Section 1E2 (new bridleway on farm track from Red Barn to Ginge Brook)
18 June – 23 September 2020:
Sections 1H2-1K2 (byway 403/9 & restricted byway 119/17: Ginge Rd to Hungerford Rd)
4 – 8 September 2020:
Section 1D (farm track with footpath upgraded to bridleway: East Ardington to Red Barn)
9 – 11 September 2020:
Section 1C (Ardington Village – signage at key turning points only)
Route 3 (B1/B2): Abingdon to Milton Park
Upgrade of existing byway at Peep-O-Day-Lane between Drayton Road and Quarry Road (approx. 700m) and the path along Thames Water Treatment Facility (approx. 600m), to allow use by cyclist, pedestrians and equestrians. The works proposed to 3B1/3B2 include widening of the existing paths to achieve 2.5m average width with localised narrowing where necessary.
3B1 – due to covid-19, construction was put on hold for 3 weeks and was was completed on 23rd April 2020. This section was open to the public on Tuesday 24th April.
3B2 – due to Covid-19, construction was put on hold for 3 weeks. The works have now restarted and are due to be completed on 15th June 2020.
Our site safety barriers at Pep-O-Day-Lane are being moved and locks are being broken regularly, and the newly laid material has been damaged because it is being walked and cycled on before it has cured. If the situation continues, the path will remain closed for longer as we lose time repairing the path each day. It may look like works are finished, but please do not use the path until we remove the barriers on 15th June 2020.
Route 3 (D/C): Abingdon to Milton Park
Improvements to an off-road section (approx. 700m) between Milton Park and Sutton Courtenay, to achieve a 3m wide shared-use path with a hard-paved surface and 1m wide grass verges either side (3D). Cyclists will benefit from improved signage along Drayton Road, Brook Street, High Street and Milton Road (3C).
Following completion of preliminary design in March 2020, planning application, to provide a 700m long x 3m wide, combined cycle-way and pedestrian path (3D). In addition, application to Historic England (HE) was submitted on 30th April as most of the land is classed as “Ancient Monument” and require HE guidance and approved method of construction. Application to Environment Agency (EA) for working in close proximity to a river will be submitted w/c 1st June 2020. Construction is currently programmed for early September 2020.
Route 5 (G): Didcot to Harwell Campus
New stepped cycle track (approx. 900m) along Wantage Road, between Didcot Community Hospital and the B4493 Wantage Road Roundabout.
Procurement has recently been completed, but due to Covid-19 construction was put on hold until further notice.
Route 6: Didcot to Milton Park
Street lighting scheme along north side of Milton Road, Didcot (6A) and footway works at Foxhill Road and Station Road, Didcot to facilitate conversion of an exisitng footway to a shared use cycle/pedestrian facility (6B)
6A – installation of new street lighting was was completed in May 2018.
6B – construction was completed in March 2019. Remaining road markings and additional signage, recommended by the Road Safety Auditor, will be installed shortly.
Route 7A (A&C): Abingdon to Culham Science Centre
(*contingent on other routes).
Improvements to existing off-road tracks (approx 1100 m) along Abbey Meadows, from Abbey Close to Barton Lane, to provide a minimum 2.5m wide shared use path suitable for all users.
Preliminary design has just been completed and detailed design has commenced. EA application, for working on a flood plain and near a river is due to be submitted in June. Construction anticipated to start in September 2020 (*providing there is sufficient funding available to proceed to construction).
Route 8G: Didcot to Culham Science Centre
New ramped cycle by-pass lanes at two build-outs on the High Street in Long Wittenham (at the Red Barn and at No 35 High Street).
This section is currently in detailed design stage, however, due to Covid-19 and associated challenges, this section was placed on hold and will resume when design demand on other sections is met. Construction is now postponed until Autumn 2020.
About the Science Vale Cycle Network
The primary aim of the project is to improve routes for cyclists and pedestrians and to make cycling a more attractive choice. It adds a key layer to the Science Vale transport network to encourage sustainable travel across the area for users, who are going to benefit from improved facilities for many journeys, not just those to or from work. The proposed cycle routes cover a geographic area of southern Oxfordshire including Didcot, Abingdon, Wantage, Milton Park, Culham Science Centre and Harwell Campus.
The project benefits, among all, are: Reduce congestion on roads Make Science Vale a more attractive place to live and work Help support the future growth of Science Vale Provide better routes to encourage more people to switch from cars to cycling and walking
What is being proposed and how does it currently look like?
Route 1: Wantage to Harwell Campus
Improvements to off-road routes between Wantage and Harwell Campus which include a proposed new crossing at Ginge Brook, two newly dedicated Bridleways and improvement and widening to several new sections between these locations. The proposed cycle route width will vary from 2m, where low user numbers are expected, to 3.6m, where shared use, with large agricultural machines are allowed.
Route 3: Abingdon to Milton Park
Improvements to mainly off-road routes between Abingdon and Milton Park to achieve a 3m wide shared-use path with a hard-paved surface and 1m wide grass verges either side (3D). The works proposed to 3B1/3B2 include widening of the existing paths to achieve 2.5m average width suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians with localised narrowing where necessary. Low level illumination will be provided to guide users at night, and for safety. Section 3D works are signage improvements, no path construction is programmed for this section.
Route 5: Didcot to Harwell Campus
New stepped cycle tracks along Wantage Road will be part funded and constructed by Taylor Wimpey under Section 278 agreement.
Route 6: Didcot to Milton Park
Street lighting scheme along north side of Milton Road, Didcot (6A) and conversion of an existing footway, along Foxhill Road and Station Road, to a shared-use facility, which included installation of a dropped kerb, additional signage and street signs relocation, renewal and improvement of road markings, localised resurfacing and vegetation clearance (6B).
Route 7A: Abingdon to Culham Science Centre
(* contingent on other routes and remaining funding) Improvements to existing off-road tracks along Abbey Meadows to provide a minimum 2.5m wide shared-use path, suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians, with localised narrowings where necessary. Low level illumination will be provided to guide users at night and for safety. Cellweb and Flexipave materials are proposed to ensure the widespread tree roots are protected.
* Note: the capital ringfenced for this route will first be used to fund any risk and unforeseen activities that materialise during design and construction of the other routes and the remainder will be used to construct route 7A.
Route 8: Didcot to Culham Science Centre (section 8G only)
It is proposed to provide ramped cycle by-pass lanes at two buildouts on the High Street in Long Wittenham (8G). This will include changes to road markings and cycle approach lanes, to improve safety.
Note: proposed improvements to the existing track along Moor ditch between A4130 and B4016 (also called 8C) will be forward funded and constructed by Legal & General in Summer 2021 and will no longer be delivered by OCC.
You can find out more and download our latest designs and programme by visiting our Science Vale Cycle Network project page.
Visit SVCN Project Page
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