Science Vale Cycle Network Update


January 2021 - Issue No.5    

Grand Opening of Five SVCN Routes!!!
Oxfordshire County Council is pleased to announce completion of  five cycling routes, which make up the first phase of the award winning Science Vale Cycling Network (SVCN) project. Over 10km of improved cycle and pedestrian paths are now open to the public, linking the science and research centres at Harwell Campus, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre with Abingdon, Wantage and Didcot, including Didcot Parkway railway station.

Read more in our press release here.
How we're getting on with the work

5 routes are now open!
Thanks to exceptional work and commitment of our contractors, subcontractors, designers and the cooperation of landowners, the project team is very happy to report that 5 SVCN routes are now completed, several months ahead of the funding deadline. This is despite the challenges faced, including recent cold and wet weather and, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic.

Routes: 1 (sections: B-K), 3 (sections: B, C, D), 6 (sections: A, B), 7A (sections: A, C) and 8 (section G) of the SVCN project (Phase 1) are now open to the public, and walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders can enjoy the new and improved facilities in the Science Vale area. 

Note: for locations, please click on the latest Strategic Map above.

Funding for this project was secured by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the government’s Local Growth Fund (£5.1m) and Section 106 contributions (£0.7m). OxLEP’s commitment to improving infrastructure and connectivity across Oxfordshire was the driving force behind the funding. They are a great partner and supporter of this project with the aim to provide greater accessibility, reduce congestion and travel times, support jobs and improve quality of life for people and communities in Oxfordshire.

What is new?
For the first time in a rural setting in Oxfordshire we have used a revolutionary photo-luminescent technology, the i-glo discs, which glow brightly throughout the night and use natural light to recharge during the day. These new additions to the road-studs family can glow for up to 10 hours, acting as path finder at night without the need for additional street lighting, saving revenue and reducing carbon emissions, and allowing cyclists and pedestrians to feel safer.
We have also used a new sustainable paving material, KBI Flexipave, which uses 50% recycled tyres and allows large volumes of water to drain through the surface and reduces water runoff, water logging and erosion issues. Dynamic, with the ability to gently flex and adjust to minor movement, it can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking. Over 16,000 tyres were used to deliver over 7,100 metres of paving on SVCN routes 3B, 3D and 7A. This greatly contributed to carbon reduction of over 380,000kg CO2, from surfacing alone. 

Is all work completed? 
We are now entering a post construction stage, in which we review the improved routes and follow up with minor improvements, recommended by the review, mainly signing, lining and defect work, before the project can officially be closed. 

Note: the sixth and final route, 5(G), of Phase 1 is being constructed by Taylor Wimpey as part of s278 agreement and is due to be open in April 2021 (more detail can be found in the construction section, at the bottom of this bulletin).
Recap of what was completed and photographs
Route 1 (B-K2): Wantage to Harwell Campus " Icknield Greenway" 
Improvements to approx. 5km of off-road byways, bridleways, footpaths and private paths, from West Lockinge, through Ardington Village to Hungerford Road, West Hendred. Work included dedication of two sections as bridleways to facilitate cycling and horse-riding. Replacement of the old wooden bridge, and steep hazardous slope, at Ginge Brook, widening of the paths, improved surfacing and drainage, signage and vegetation clearance along the full length of the new routes.
Route 3 (B1/B2): Abingdon to Milton Park 
Peep-O-Day-Lane path upgrade (approx. 1.3km) along Thames Water treatment facility (3B1), and between Drayton Road and Quarry Road (3B2). The work included widening of the paths to 2.5m average, new surfacing, signage/bollards, including installation of i-glo studs/path-finders to guide cyclists and pedestrians at night.
Route 3 (D/C): Abingdon to Milton Park 
3D - Improvements to approx. 0.7km, off-road, path between Milton Park and Sutton Courtenay to achieve 3m-wide fully paved, new shared-use cycleway, including installation of i-glo studs/path-finders to guide cyclists and pedestrians at night.  Work to existing footpath, including a new dropped kerb and new surfacing, lining and signage. 

3C - Signage and lining improvements along Drayton Rd., Brook St., High St. and Milton Rd.
Route 6 (A/B): Didcot to Milton Park
6A - Street lighting scheme along north side of Milton Road, Didcot, between the roundabouts with Park Drive and the A3130. Speed limit reduction to 40mph, installation of new traffic signals and speed limit signs.

6B - Conversion of the footway on the east side of the Foxhall Road (north of the Station Road roundabout) and on the north side of the Station Road into a shared-use pedestrian/cycling facility.  New dropped kerb on Basil Hill Road  and new paving between the new route and the adjoining footways. Improvements to traffic signals, road markings and vegetation clearance along Station Road.
Route 7A (A&C): Abingdon to Culham Science Centre 
Improvements to approx. 1.1km of existing off-road tracks along Abbey Meadows, from Abbey Close to Barton Lane. Newly paved routes with 2.5m width, suitable for all users. I-glo studs were installed as path-finders to guide cyclists and pedestrians at night.
Route 8G: Didcot to Culham Science Centre
New ramped cycle bypass lanes at two build-outs on the High Street in Long Wittenham (at the Red Barn and at No 35 High Street).
Remaining Route Currently in Construction
Route 5 (G): Didcot to Harwell Campus
New stepped cycle track (approx. 0.9 km) along Wantage Road, between Didcot Community Hospital and the B4493 Wantage Road Roundabout being constructed by Taylor Wimpey.
Construction is going well and, although slightly behind the programme, it is still expected to complete this Spring 2021.

The main areas of work completed since the last update:
  • The cycleway and associated kerbing, etc., between Oxford Crescent and Sherwood Road.
  • Installation of ducts for the new streetlights at Abingdon Crescent and for those on the footpath either side of Glyn Avenue.
  • Further tactile paving installed at junctions.
  • Trenches and post holes in preparation for SSE’s work.
Work programmed for next period to completion:
  • SSE have commenced their works on site, installing new street lighting poles to suit the cycleway layout, with new cabling being provided, much of which will now be laid underground.
  • BT/Openreach will follow SSE’s work, transferring their apparatus from the old SSE poles to the new ones.
  • The new streetlights referred to above are also to be installed shortly. Completion of these various services' work should be by the end of January, and this will allow our contractor to lay final surfacing to earlier sections of cycleway and footpath, with white lining and other road markings to be carried out after that.
  • The new and additional signage will be the final element and is currently on order.
  • In the meantime, cycleway work on the northern side of Wantage Road will continue to progress eastwards towards the roundabout.
  • The less-intrusive work on the south side of Wantage Road will follow, some of it potentially being delivered concurrently with work on the north side.
Substantive completion is targeted for around the end of March/early April 2021 with the remaining touches and formal opening of this route programmed for April 2021. 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Taylor Wimpey using the following email address,
About the Project 
To find out more about the project, visit our project page.
Click here to go to the SVCN project page

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