PROPOSALS for a new park-and-ride aimed at tackling congestion problems in Bicester and on the A34 have taken a major step forward.

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed it had taken ownership of land on the new Kingsmere estate, off the A41, and was now looking for funding.

The council is in talks with Stagecoach and is hoping to secure Government grants.

The move follows hot on the heels of the new Bicester perimeter road Vendee Drive which aims to relieve traffic in Chesterton and queues of cars heading for Bicester Village shopping centre.

Proposals have previously have been put forward for the park-and-ride to be used for Bicester Village shoppers.

Rodney Rose, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “The new road and park-and-ride will help a lot to solve the traffic problems.

“It will happen as soon as we can get the funding in place.”

Bicester councillor Michael Waine, who lobbied Mr Rose over the park- and-ride, welcomed the news saying it would help access to Oxford and reduce the pressure on the A34.

The news was also welcomed by Sallie Wright, who has campaigned for road improvements to deal with problems caused by Bicester Village shoppers.

She said: “If it all comes off then it will make a huge difference. I am still sceptical how many Bicester Village shoppers will use the park-and-ride.”

Stagecoach Midlands marketing manager Chris Childs said: “We are in discussions with Oxfordshire County Council about how the bus element of a park-and-ride service might be provided. Those discussions are currently on-going.”