LEADING county councillors will decide today whether to go ahead with £59m of transport improvements around Oxfordshire.

The schemes are part of the City Deal, which was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in February.

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet is now being asked to include these schemes in the authority’s capital programme.

Sue Scane, director for environment and economy at the county council, backs the schemes.

She said: “The City Deal represents an opportunity to ensure Oxford and Oxfordshire overcomes the historic barriers to innovation and enterprise through a transformational network of connected hubs, creating an eco-system where research, innovation, investment and enterprise meet and flourish.”

The cash will pay for three packages of schemes at the Northern Gateway in Oxford, at the Hinksey Hill and Kennington roundabouts, and improving access to the Science Vale Enterprise Zone.

Projects include a new link road between the A40 and the A44 at Loop Farm, and additional lanes at the Hinksey Hill roundabout.

The Government will provide £22m towards these schemes as part of the City Deal, with the rest coming from sources such as developer contributions and the county council.

The design of the schemes was drawn up earlier this year and the three projects are expected to all be complete by 2019.

Bob Price is the leader of Oxford City Council which wants to create a science park and houses on land between Wolvercote and the A34.

He said: “The Northern Gateway is very important for the city.

“We have very little employment land left and very little housing land and this site provides us with a combination of both of these things.

“The combination of the two will be an attractively designed place with improved transport links and will be very important but there is no way you can develop the Northern Gateway without significant transport improvements.”

Oxford City Council is currently putting together an area action plan which will dictate what can be built on the Northern Gateway site.

This will go to a Government inspector early next year before a planning application is submitted.

The county council’s cabinet will meet today to decide whether to include the schemes in the authority’s capital programme.

The meeting will take place at County Hall in New Road, Oxford, at 2pm.