WORK to improve a stretch of the A40 with new cycle and bus infrastructure is set to get under way next month.

Oxfordshire County Council has announced that preparation work west of the Wolvercote roundabout will start in early December.

The upgrades are part of major plans to improve the A40 between Oxford and Witney.

Preparation work will include vegetation clearance and a small temporary compound will be created alongside the A-road.

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The compound will be used while the main work to improve the A40 takes place from February to late 2021.

The main work will be starting in February and will include widening of the road to offer improved cycle and footpaths as well as bus lanes.

The dates for the enabling work will be from December 3.

Existing footpaths and cycle paths will be slightly diverted but will remain open as normal throughout most of the work.

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The council said there may be some management required for things like a temporary footpath and the vegetation clearance, but access will be maintained.

For the main work, the new, temporary path will be used.

The completed work will include improvements to the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts as well as provision of enhanced bus services along the A40 and A44 corridors including bus priority, new bus stops, improved waiting facilities and opportunities for interchange.

Both lanes of the A40 will be kept open during the preparation work but there may be traffic flow reduction with lane widths.

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No night work is planned at this stage, but Saturday morning work is expected to take place.

The work will also mean that there are slight diversions of the cycle paths alongside the A40 in early 2021, but access to cyclists and pedestrians will remain and will not be restricted.

The council apologised for any inconvenience that may be caused during the period and said the work has been designed to keep the area open to business as usual as far as possible.

The work is supported by the Government’s Local Growth Fund which has seen the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) – working alongside the county council – secure £8.4 million of funding for the project.