Harwell Campus welcomes the opening of the new A34 slip roads at Chilton – enabling better access to the campus’s world leading science facilities for the thousands of people already working on site as well as for many more international visitors.
New slip roads better connecting the A34 with one of Oxfordshire’s most important employment areas are now open. The north facing slip roads at Chilton have cost £11m to build and have taken 13 months to construct.
Vital part in meeting future demands
A projected increase in jobs and traffic in the Science Vale area, which includes an additional 20,000 new homes and 20,000 permanent jobs expected by 2031 means that these new north-facing slip roads will play a vital part in ensuring that the local road infrastructure to meet the demands of the future. Harwell Campus, which is set to see a significant increase in jobs on site, will benefit from an improved access to its site from the A34.
County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for transport, said: “I am delighted to be able to say that Oxfordshire County Council, with its partners at the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Highways England, has completed yet another major improvement to the county’s transport system.
“The work that we have just finished at Chilton is part of a coordinated package of investment in the transport infrastructure for the Science Vale area.
“The Chilton slip roads join major improvements at the Milton Interchange and Hagbourne Hill. Work will shortly begin to the east of Harwell village on a new link road which will also form part of the big picture of transport enhancement in the area.”
Benefit to community and business
Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership comments: “We are pleased to see the completion of the Chilton slip road which will benefit both businesses and the community, providing solid foundations for housing and employment growth in the area. The completion of the Chilton slip road is vital as part of our wider strategy to improve the capacity of transport corridors across Oxfordshire and specifically to the Harwell Campus.”
Angus Horner, Director of Harwell Campus Management, said: “It is essential that the UK maximises the potential of its world leading Knowledge Economy and hugely innovative people. UK hotspots like Harwell Campus must be properly connected into local, regional and national routes, so that people with great ideas can move between them at 21st Century speeds.
“This new two way access onto the A34 will have a substantial positive impact at Harwell, for thousands of people who work here. It will facilitate even more collaboration with our neighbours at University of Oxford, plus tens of thousands of other regular research visitors and hundreds of companies who use the A34 to access Harwell’s ideas and £2 billion of international labs.”
Alan Miles, service delivery manager, for Highways England in the South East, said:“This £11m project will be a major benefit to residents and businesses by creating better and more reliable journeys.
“The new slip roads at Chilton will also help unlock housing and economic growth.”
The scheme will enhance the accessibility of the Science Vale Enterprise Zone area as well as providing an easier route to the A34 for local residents. This scheme is therefore key to delivering growth and is a priority for the county council and Local Enterprise Partnership.
Oxfordshire County Council and its contractors worked together with Highways England, which is responsible for the A34 and slip roads, to deliver the project and manage traffic while construction was under way.