The Harwell Link Road – a £11.65m City Deal project connecting the B4493 to the A417 – was officially opened today (28 March) by Didcot and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey, OxLEP Chief Executive Nigel Tipple and Vale of White Horse Councillor Reg Waite.
A series of vintage cars and an autonomous vehicle became the first to officially use the new stretch of road.
The new link road, overseen by Oxfordshire County Council, will allow thousands of Harwell workers – along with other members of the public – easier access around the area and as a result, significantly-improve connectivity within the locality and Oxfordshire as a whole.
An array of benefits for the local area
More than 5,000 people work at Harwell Campus each day and the newly opened road, with its cycle and pedestrian facilities, will deliver an array of benefits to those currently living near and working at the campus.
By improving the local transport network, the road will provide the confidence necessary to attract more business investment and high-skilled employees.
The project was also designed to improve national and local connectivity and boost local employment opportunities with links to new housing developments and further improvements to the road networks planned.
A positive impact on thousands of people
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “The completion of such a significant project – that will have a positive impact on thousands of people and businesses based in the south of Oxfordshire – is excellent news and we would like to thank all partners involved with the development of the Harwell Link Road.
“Ensuring we benefit from an infrastructure that not only supports better connectivity – but also the dynamic economic growth that Oxfordshire is currently experiencing – really is key. This scheme will increase reliability and in-turn, provide the confidence necessary to attract business investment and high-skilled employees.
“Oxfordshire is a key driver behind the national economy and, through continued investment – of which we have helped to secure over £400m-worth of funding since 2011 – we believe we can play a key role supporting a globally-facing UK economy.”
About the road
The road connects the B4493 to the A417 and is the latest in a package of improvements from the Science Vale Transport Strategy to be built and is designed to improve access to the Enterprise Zone and reduce local congestion.
It provides a more direct route from housing developments west of Didcot at Great Western Park and Valley Park to Harwell Oxford Campus.
The Harwell Link Road scheme is part of a wider package of measures designed to improve connectivity and reduce congestion
The road will:
- Increase capacity of the local road network
- Relieve capacity constraints elsewhere on the network
- Reduce traffic through Harwell village
- Provide greater route choice
The road was built by contractors Galliford Try and was Supported by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund.