Botley Road gets sustainable major transport boost

A major route into Oxford has received a major sustainable transport boost thanks to a multi-million pound county council funding bid.

Oxfordshire County Council has secured £5million from the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund which will make plans for major cycle and public transport improvements a reality.

The Botley Road project is aimed at improving facilities between Binsey Lane and Eynsham Road for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

The project will be a major step towards Oxford Transport Strategy proposals for bus rapid transit and a cycle super route on this corridor.

Cyclists will be physically segregated from traffic and pedestrians throughout most of the route; and new bus lanes and better traffic management will speed up bus journeys.

The funding will also allow the county council to improve the condition of the road surface so that all road users benefit from better ride quality. ‘Smart City’ sensors will also be installed along the corridor to enable the collection and transmission a range of traffic and travel information.

There will be further detailed design work and consultation on the plans now that funding has been secured. A date has yet to be set for this or for work to start, but funding is being made available during 2018/19 and 2019/20. The news has been welcomed by the county council’s Cabinet member for transport, County Councillor Yvonne Constance.

She said: “This is excellent news as it will help deliver another element of the Oxford Transport Strategy and deliver the kind of sustainable transport improvements that will please a great many people and make for far easier journeys into the city.

“The scheme ticks a number of boxes as cyclists, pedestrians and bus users will benefit. The local community should also see an improvement in air quality when everything is in place and being used and, for traffic that still has to use the road, journeys should be easier.”

The Botley Road scheme includes:

* Improved infrastructure and transport capacity to support the significant development planned within Central Oxfordshire.

* Bus priority measures to improve bus journey times and reliability along the corridor, in line with the aspiration for Botley Road to become a rapid transit route.

* Changes to several junctions along the route, notably restricting access to some side roads, where there has been a high incidence of collisions with cyclists, and additional cycle lanes.

* Surface repairs and improvements will improve the condition and ride quality of the road to the benefit of all users.

* A more consistent and improved footpath , including additional crossings, will benefit pedestrians.

* A reduced number of private vehicles along the corridor, with more journeys undertaken by public transport, cycle and on foot, improving the air quality along the corridor.

Further funding for the work will come from third parties including developer funding already secured with the total value of the project currently estimated to cost £6,860,000.

You can see the full details of the bid at: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/sites/default/files/folders/documents/roadsandtransport/majorprojects/NPIF_Applicationform-BotleyRoad.pdf