Question from Councillor Sam Casey-Rerhaye to Councillor David Rouane, Leader of the council


HIF2 has been paused for review because of issues with escalating costs and the impact on the Compulsory Purchase Orders. Consequently, this Council needs to be informed of any possible changes to or impacts on the delivery of HIF1 from inflation or other costs pressures from, e.g. construction supply issues. I am particularly concerned as Cycle Champion of any impact increased costs might have on the delivery of the active travel features of the project as these are vital to both SODC and OCC’s travel and carbon reduction targets. Please can the Leader seek reassurance from OCC that these features will not be downgraded or dropped if costs rise further and that South Oxfordshire District Council will be the first to be informed of any proposed changes or issues to the delivery of HIF1?


Written Response


I can confirm that, at my request, our officers have recently been in contact with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) seeking confirmation that HIF1 will progress as planned.   I am pleased to be able to confirm that in response, the County council has confirmed that OCC is fully committed to HIF1 and its outcomes. 


They advise that they are continuing with the delivery of the project as planned, and that as well as having submitted a live planning application, they are continuing with the design and land acquisition work for the scheme.   HIF1 contains some vital components of what I hope will be a wider and sustained commitment to active travel solutions and both I, and our officers, will continue to emphasise to OCC that it is important that the scheme as a whole, particularly the active travel elements, are delivered in full.


I recognise that delivery and accountability for the scheme rests with OCC, but given its importance to our residents, I have asked the Leader of OCC to ensure that South Oxfordshire District Council remains informed of any developments relating to it in a timely and appropriate fashion.   I will also ensure that the areas raised within the question are raised formally as part of the next bi-lateral meeting between SODC and OCC, as I have done before.