WORK on Bicester’s delayed £3.5 million park-and-ride site will start next month.

The 580-space car park will be built off the A41 at Vendee Drive to help tackle congestion coming into the town.

Oxfordshire County has said it is expected to be ready by Black Friday, the last Friday in November when shops put on huge sales before Christmas.

Last year there was traffic chaos around the town as shoppers queued for miles to get into Bicester Village.

The park-and-ride was a condition of Bicester Village’s expansion plans for more retail and additional parking space being granted in 2013. Construction was originally planned to be finished by last Christmas but had to be put on hold to allow legal agreements to be tied up.

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith said: “I am glad that all the problems have been resolved and the park-and-ride will start to be built next month. We anticipate it to be ready by the busy Christmas period which will be good as we all know what happens. There just is not enough car parking for such a successful shopping outlet as Bicester Village.”

The site was discussed as part of Oxfordshire County Council’s new transport plan Connecting Oxfordshire, on which public consultation will end on April 2. The council’s plan includes proposals for six new park-and-rides around Oxford at Cumnor, Eynsham, Lodge Hill at Abingdon, Sandford-onThames, Langford Lane in Kidlington, and by the A34 near Kidlington.

In response to the transport plan proposals, Oxford’s Campaign to Protect Rural England group said the “massive” park-and-rides outside the ring road would turn Oxford’s “green belt into a car park”.

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