Have your say on Botley Road transport plans

A consultation on plans for the first phase of a multi-million pound transport improvement scheme for one of Oxford’s most-used routes has started.

Oxfordshire County Council is planning to spend £9.1m overhauling Botley Road from its junction with Eynsham Road to Binsey Lane.

Botley Road is recognised as being a very slow route in and out of the city centre, facing daily congestion problems and poor journey experiences for all road users. The proposals are one of a number of future improvements planned for the city over the next few years and are targeted at boosting sustainable modes of travel and helping the council meet its commitments on climate action and air quality.

Key changes needed on major route

A study of the Botley Road corridor in early 2016 identified key changes were needed to encourage more people to travel by bus or other sustainable transport options to reduce the overall amount of traffic and reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

The proposed improvements to the Botley Road corridor aim to ease congestion, provide a safer and more attractive route for cyclists and pedestrians and encourage greater use of more sustainable modes of transport such as buses, cycling and walking.

The £9.1m project is being funded from £5m provided by The National Productivity Infrastructure Fund £5m plus £3.25m from the Growth Deal £3.25m plus £850,000 S106 funding from developers.

A series of improvements needed in Oxford

This first phase also forms part of a series of proposed improvements which, when complete, will reduce bus journey times, reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

The improvements being consulted on include:

  • Upgraded junctions including at Eynsham Road and at Seacourt Park and Ride
  • New cycle lanes and shared pedestrian and cycle paths
  • New pedestrian and cycle crossings
  • Side road entry treatments to give cyclists and pedestrians better conditions in these locations
  • Bus priority measures including a new stretch of outbound bus lane between Alexandra Road and Lamarsh Road
  • ‘Floating’ bus stops - also known as a 'bus stop bypass', this is an arrangement that involves a cycleway running behind the passenger waiting/boarding area at a bus stop. This helps prevent conflict between cyclists and waiting bus passengers and gives a more continuous facility for cyclists

Changes made after earlier public feedback

Consultation on the initial detailed designs took place in May and June of this year and a number of changes have been made following responses from stakeholders and the public. The next current phase of consultation is for the traffic regulation orders needed for work to start on the ground in early 2020.

Owen Jenkins, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Growth and Economy, said: Oxfordshire County Council is serious about encouraging sustainable transport and making matters better for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

“The county council is investing in better transport to help Oxford and Oxfordshire thrive - the proposals for Botley Road is the latest in a series of major enhancements that we have carried out to improve infrastructure – London Road bus lane, Frideswide Square, Cutteslowe and Wolvercote Roundabouts, Access to Headington.

“This phase of work alone won’t solve all of the city’s transport problems but alongside forthcoming things like Connecting Oxford, the replacement of Botley Road rail bridge, the second phase of Botley Road from Binsey Lane to the rail bridge and also the completed work like the Frideswide Square remodelling.

“We are also continuing to look at how a more intelligently coordinated traffic light system right along the corridor can be used to give greater priority to buses at busy times.

“The proposals that we’re now consulting on for the corridor have been influenced already by input from the public and stakeholders at earlier stages of the project but we still want to know what people think so would encourage them to look at the plans and get in touch.”

Tom Bridgman, Executive Director of Development, Oxford City Council, said: “Improving slow transport routes such as Botley road will help improve how we all travel in to and across Oxford. We are looking forward to seeing the results of Oxfordshire County Council’s consultation and hearing the views of residents on the plans.”

The city council is also currently expanding Seacourt Park & Ride where the car park has been regularly full for some time – this has been preventing more people from leaving their car at the edge of the city and taking the bus into the centre. The work to expand the car park is currently on target to be completed next summer and both construction projects will be coordinated to minimise disruption.

Having your say

To see the plans for Botley Road, and to have your say visit: https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/A420TrafficSafetyImprovements/consultationHome

Or view the information in person at County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1ND, between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

The consultation runs until 29 November 2019.