The first phase of transport and highway improvements has started in Oxford including work to upgrade traffic signalised junction, amendments to bus stops, improvements to pedestrian and cyclist facilities and carriageway resurfacing.
Funding of £9.1 million has been secured by Oxfordshire County Council to deliver a package of work to improve the travelling experience along a major road into the city to provide a route that prioritises sustainable transport modes such as public transport, cycling and walking.
The improvement work on the Botley Road corridor aims to improve bus journey times by avoiding the key bottlenecks so that they have an advantage over general traffic as well as provide a safer, more direct and more attractive route for cyclists and pedestrians. It also aims to reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality as well as encourage greater use of more sustainable modes of transport such as buses, cycling and walking and help to manage congestion on the route
The council said it will also unlock economic growth and job creation opportunities by benefiting development sites with improved access and additional capacity, including supporting further housing and growth in Oxford city centre, Botley and along the A420, as well as provide an opportunity to introduce smart technology along the corridor and provide some of the groundwork for the upcoming Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) trials.
County Councillor Liam Walker, Cabinet member for Highway Delivery and Operation, said: “Active travel is right at the top of the county council’s agenda and the work on Botley Road will contribute to our long-term vision of a county where more and more people are able to use sustainable modes of transport.
“The aim of the work is ultimately to make travelling in and out of Oxford along the Botley Road better, but in the short term the work may cause some inconvenience. We will keep the site under review to ensure that work continues to progress safely at all times.”
Work on the project had originally been expected to start earlier in the year, but a thorough review of working arrangements in relation to COVID-19 and utility diversions has meant a delay of a few weeks.
Safety for the site workers and general public is paramount and the county council is working closely with its contractors to assess the site and ensure that all working practices adhere to general statutory safety requirements and any current government PHE guidance, said the council.