First phase of Frideswide work complete

Engineers have put the finishing touches to the new four-way signal lights at Worcester Street, marking the end of the “enabling works” phase, which has also involved improvement work on Becket Street and Oxpens Road.

There will now be a break over Christmas and the New Year before workers return to begin the main phase of the job in February 2015. The main work at the square will involve remodelling the road by removing the traffic lights and simplifying the road layout to improve traffic flows, promote sustainable and public transport and providing an enhanced public space.

County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Transport, said: “Work has gone quite smoothly on although I am sure that motorists will welcome a period of respite between now and February.

“Getting on with the work on the main square will be a big priority from February and, by then, we will have seen the back of work at Kennington and the first phase of the London Road scheme will be complete.

“Although this work will cause disruption for many people, we must remember why so much is being done in and around the city at the moment.

“The city is entering into a major phase of regeneration with exciting projects like the Westgate Centre coming up and a number of schemes to ensure that the transport infrastructure is able to meet the demands that will be placed on it in future years.

“Many of the schemes that we are working on must be done now to avoid clashes with other non-council schemes and to ensure that the city and county is able to thrive.”

Plan your journeys

The majority of the work on Frideswide Square will be carried out with the roads open, so people will still be able to drive into and out of the city.

However it is expected that there will be delays to journeys and the county council is urging the travelling public to plan their journeys in advance. Information, including journey planning tools, is available at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/travelchoices

Councillor Nimmo Smith explained: “We have to accept that there will be delays while this work is going on, but there are things you can do to avoid or reduce their impact on your day.

“Varying your journey times or changing your mode of transport could mean less time stuck in traffic. Using public transport, or park and ride and removing cars from the road can help to reduce queues for those who have no option but to drive.”