A £500,000 package of government investment has been announced for Oxfordshire roads.

The funding will help cut congestion, boost safety, and reduce journey times and emissions across Oxfordshire, and is aimed at supporting both the economy and the environment.

It comes as the government also publishes plans to speed up pothole repair, including backing new technology to make our roads, safer, greener and better.

The funds, allocated to county and city councils around the country, can be used by local authorities to repair existing equipment and modernise traffic signals. Improved signal operations will reduce traffic queues and provide better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Most received 500,000 with some areas, such as neighbouring Gloucestershire getting half that sum.

Henley’s Conservative MP John Howell was first to welcome the funding, which he said was consistent with the government’s recently announced Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Mr Howell said: “As we build back better it’s vital to level up transport across Oxfordshire, to support jobs, the economy and the environment.

“That is why we are investing £500,000 of new funding to improve our local roads and taking measures to cut congestion, boost safety and reduce journey times and emissions.

Oxford Mail: Old diversion signs. Picture by Ed Nix

“And we are also delivering on commitments such as our important Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to build back greener in Oxfordshire. All these improvements are very welcome in our area, as they will make a real difference to the experience of drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and all road users.”

Transport Secretary Rt Hon Grant Shapps said: “Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian, every road-user across our country deserves the best possible journey. That’s why, despite already having some of the best and safest roads in the world, this Government is providing millions of pounds to improve them further still.

“This vital funding and work will cut journey times for millions of people, reduce emissions and keep the UK at the forefront of technological developments in roads maintenance, as we continue to invest in local economies and build back both better and greener from the pandemic.”

In addition to this important new funding, the Government on Saturday published findings from a new initiative to speed up research into new and innovative ways to fix potholes.

The cutting-edge Digital Information Brokerage (DIB) will encourage work with small and medium sized businesses outside of the transport sector to discover new technologies to speed-up pothole repairs.

The DIB has already made significant discoveries in this area, including using materials such as graphite nanoparticles to reduce cracks in the road and bio-bitumen to create environmentally friendly surfaces. It also is working on robot technology that will minimise risk to road maintenance workers.

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council's pothole repair team. Picture by Jon Lewis

The Government already supports the use of advanced technology like drones to spot road defects and has backed 3D printing to rapidly repair road cracks.

The Government also announces a new data standard for local road condition monitoring, which will allow councils to gain more accurate and useful data so that road repair can be quicker and more effective.

A spokesman said: “All of this will make roads in Oxfordshire safer, greener, and cut journey times as we build back better.”