Murdered Abingdon MP Airey Neave may soon adorn a revitalised mural in the town.

Contractors will next month start to remove the existing design that traces the history of Abingdon in the Stratton Way underpass, and prepare the walls for the new motifs, 23 years after they were first painted.

Leading the repainting team will be Margaret Jones, from Drayton, who was the original artist in 1984.

Some updating of the scenes and figures will take place and new images - including that of Mr Neave, who was killed by an Irish republican bomb in the House of Commons car park in 1979 - may be added to the famous figures already depicted.

One of the group behind the refurbishment, Abingdon county councillor Lesley Legge, said the mural was an important and informative guide to the town's history.

She said: "It is a gem of which the town should be proud. The mural will promote the history which has moulded and developed the town up to the present day. Abingdon receives and welcomes visitors from all over the world. Many come to work or visit the local scientific laboratories. Others find it a great centre from which to explore the region."

Mrs Jones said she was pleased to have been invited to refurbish the paintings.

She said: "The mural has always added an interesting dimension to the walk into town for some and has been an attractive visual display for anyone showing visitors around.

"However, it has been in need of refurbishment for some time and I hope this will add a special interest again to the town centre."

Among new figures being considered is Mr Neave and the town's Liberal MP, former mayor and benefactor in the late 1800s, John Cremer Clarke.

After the new base has been prepared, Mrs Jones and her team will begin work and when they have finished, county council staff will apply a coating of anti-graffiti lacquer. The underpass, built in the early 1970s, will be closed for six weeks while the work takes place.

The total cost of the project is £25,000. The county council is contributing £18,000 and £7,000 has come from the Joint Environmental Trust for Abingdon, which is funded by local councils and civic group Friends of Abingdon.