THE county will bid for more than £280m of transport improvements to the north and west of the city, including the long-awaited dualling of the A40, to deal with proposed housing growth.

Two separate bids – one worth £152m north of Oxford and the other a £135m proposal for the A40 corridor – will be lodged at the end of this month to unlock the Government's £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund.

But campaigners warned the transport improvements may not be enough with thousands of new homes planned.

The A40 scheme, first mooted in 2015, which includes dualling the road between Witney and Eynsham and then creating a bus lane beyond to Wolvercote, has been given top priority.

Oxfordshire County Council said it would support more than 10,000 homes planned in Witney, Carterton and around Eynsham.

The bid to the north of the city would include an 'Oxford Gateway Hub' Park and Ride at Kidlington Airport and upgrades to Woodstock and Banbury Road as well as £46m of pedestrian and cycling routes.

A new secondary school and a relief road linking the A40 and A44 could also be built.

This would support 5,570 homes planned around Begbroke, Yarnton, Woodstock and the Northern Gateway project.

But Alan Lodwick, of Kidlington Development Watch, said the 'last-minute' bid after the houses had already been proposed showed the local authorities hadn't looked closely enough at transport.

He said: "These improvements are needed just to cope with the problems we have on the roads at the moment.

"Everyone would say the roads around the north of the city are at full capacity, especially those using them at peak times.

"They are planning to build lots of new houses but don't know whether they will get the funding for the necessary transport improvements - they haven't looked closely at them.

"There's no guarantee they will be successful and some of the schemes, such as dualling the A40 between Witney and Eynsham could actually be damaging."

The funding is seen as vital to 'create confidence' at an early stage in housing schemes and to attract more private and public sector money in the future.

OxLEP chairman Nigel Tipple said: "There are number of projects we are looking to secure support for and we felt these schemes met the Government's criteria for the fund very well.

"We have been working on this collectively for the past few months to make the most of the opportunity.

"It's about positioning and we have a very strong track record in securing Government funding in recent years, for example at Lodge Hill and the Didcot Northern Perimeter Road."

Mr Tipple said he was confident the projects would be successful but insisted there were other streams of funding being explored.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said: "This is a great opportunity to secure funding for much needed infrastructure improvements for the north of Oxford and west Oxfordshire, to enable these areas to thrive in a planned and managed way." The bids are closely related to existing plans for additional housing, and so importantly bring infrastructure with housing, which is what we hear residents repeatedly asking for.

The county council's initial top priority bid – for £171m worth of improvements to support the 22,000-home Didcot Garden Town project – has been ruled out for the time being due to 'uncertainty' over the commitment of South Oxfordshire District Council.

But SODC have been given the chance to put forward 'stronger governance proposals' to bring it back to the table.