A MULTI-MILLION pound new 'cycle and pedestrian network' in South Oxfordshire has been completed.

More commuters can now leave their cars behind after the opening of five cycling routes worth £5.8 million.

Oxfordshire County Council has finished work on the network, which makes up the first phase of the Science Vale Cycling Network project – more than 10km of improved cycle and pedestrian paths that are now open to the public.

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The routes link the science and research centres at Harwell Campus, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre with Abingdon, Wantage and Didcot, including Didcot Parkway railway station.

Councillor Yvonne Constance commented on the milestone: "The completion of these five cycling routes is great news for this part of the county, and complements the work being carried out in Oxford, Witney and Bicester as part of our active travel programme.

"Having the infrastructure in place is a huge factor when it comes to persuading people to swap the car for the bike, and the Science Vale Cycle Network is just the sort of project that will make it easier to take the healthier option."

Ginge Brook Bridge is Sutton Courtenay is now fit for cyclists

Ginge Brook Bridge is Sutton Courtenay is now fit for cyclists

Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis and the nature of the off-road routes, the work was finished three months before the funding deadline.

The project is part of the Science Vale Cycling Network strategy, which aims to support and enable housing growth near employment sites.

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The strategy’s vision is for a 'world-class' cycle network enabling users to make 'safe, efficient and connected' journeys by bike, comparable with those found in continental Europe.

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) secured £5.1m of funding for the project through the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The rest of the cash was given by Oxfordshire County Council.

LEAD Cycling network opens SVCN Section 3D

LEAD Cycling network opens SVCN Section 3D

Nigel Tipple, OxLEP chief executive, said: "The completion of such a significant project – that will have a positive impact on our business community – is excellent news, particularly in a post Covid-19 economy.

"We will continue to play a vital role for the county moving forward, securing investment that enables new opportunities and effective connectivity that will benefit the county's businesses for many years to come."

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