TRAFFIC woes and Oxford's housing crisis could throttle the city's "powerhouse economy" unless the Government does more to help, a new report warns.

Research found the city's population grew by 11 per cent between 2004 and 2014, and the productivity of workers also shot up by 34 per cent.

According to the Centre for Cities, it means Oxford is "punching above its weight" and on average people give back in tax almost double what they get from the state.

But the think tank warned a lack of affordable housing, daily traffic jams and below-average GCSE results risked holding it back.

The report – which cost £5,000 – was commissioned by Oxford City Council with other local authorities in Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Swindon and Norwich, which have joined forces to call on the Government for more support.

City council leader Bob Price said: "There is real potential for the future, but we need to capture growth rather than choke it off.

"We do not think the Government places enough value on our economies, but they are the areas that need to be given attention – we want to challenge the focus on the 'Northern Powerhouse'.

"The Oxford city region is a powerhouse with great links to the universities and science parks such as Harwell and Begbroke.

"But in the long term having to commute for too long every day or not being able to walk to where you work can turn people off wanting to work here."

The Centre for Cities report said Oxford had seen the sixth fastest rate of employment growth out of any UK city, with a rise of 5.9 per cent compared to the UK average of 2.7 per cent.

But it warned commuters were travelling an average of 36km to work and employers were finding it increasingly difficult to find staff due to property prices. Official statistics last year revealed average house prices were more than 16 times the average wage in Oxford.

Mr Price said more houses were needed in the city so fewer people would need to drive to work.

The city council has called for land on the Green Belt to be freed up so it can be used for housing and for more funding to be granted for major transport schemes such as the so-called 'rapid' buses suggested by the county council last year.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said it had already supported Oxford with its ‘City Deal’, a funding package of £55m that was signed off by then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in 2014.

The spokesman added: “The Government recognises the vital role played by growing cities across the country in boosting growth, building new homes and creating a balanced economy.

"We are building on the success of city deals by devolving powers to any area that puts forward strong proposals to boost growth, prosperity and deliver a balanced economy.

"We are in active discussions with many places, including the growing cities highlighted in this report, about devolving the powers they need to build on their success."