Lights switch on marks start of new roundabout system


Work on two major roundabouts on the A40 in north Oxford is nearing completion.

Traffic lights on Cutteslowe roundabout have been switched on joining those on Wolvercote roundabout which went live a couple of weeks ago.

The lights will now be monitored as traffic flows return to normal levels, drivers get used to the new layouts and the arrangements bed in. It is expected to take time for the benefits of the computer controlled traffic lights, extra lanes and other measures to take effect.

This switch on marks the completion of most of the work that people travelling through the area will notice. Only minor work needs to be done over the next few weeks.

A massive challenge

County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for transport, said:

“After a great deal of hard work we are now at the stage where motorists, cyclists and pedestrians can consider work is finished. The new lights and lanes are all set up, crossings are switched on and the roads widened.

“I would like to thank all those who have experienced inconvenience during the work including residents and drivers. Hopefully now all will start to see the benefits of the work we’ve done as the digging and construction becomes a distant memory.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the team who delivered this scheme. What you see now is only a part of the picture as so much work has been done below the ground to move and safeguard things like water, gas and electricity supplies as well as broadband cables.

“It was a massive challenge to do all this work in such a constrained area while all the major routes were open to normal traffic.

“People will obviously notice a difference once all the cones go and the lights are up and running. These improvements will provide a substantial increase in capacity that had it not been completed now would have limited Oxford’s long term investment. It will bring improvements for now and for the future.”

Overhauled and improved

Both roundabouts and the approach roads have been remodelled and improved over the last 14 months. This is the first stage of a package of highway improvements for North Oxford to ensure infrastructure is in place to support the planned growth and development across the area.

The two roundabouts currently take in the region of 100,000 vehicle movements a day between them and the new traffic lights will allow the county council to manage traffic flows across the area.

Improvements for drivers are only part of the picture as new facilities, such as crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, have been added where there didn’t used to be any.

A total of £10m has been invested in improvements which include:

  • New traffic lights on both roundabouts which will be monitored through our UTMC (Urban Traffic Management Control) system
  • Widening of the main approaches at A40 and A44 approaches to both roundabouts
  • New pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities
  • New off-carriageway cycle facilities
  • New and reduced speed limits on the A40 and A44 approaches to both roundabouts
  • Resurfacing, street lighting and drainage

Meeting the challenges of the future

The Cutteslowe and Wolvercote scheme has been delivered ahead of a number of potential major developments which include the development of the Northern Gateway and housing and employment growth in west and north Oxfordshire. It will also help deal with increased demand brought by the new rail station next to Water Eaton park and ride (Oxford Parkway).

“We will closely monitor the performance of the new arrangements in days and months ahead as we always would with new road layouts.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which was instrumental in unlocking central government funding for this major infrastructure project, said: “We are delighted to see the works completed ahead of schedule and on budget.

“Funded through the Oxfordshire City Deal programme, the improvements are designed not only to improve accessibility and reduce congestion for local residents, but also to support development at Northern Gateway and beyond by linking to future A40 improvements and Headington Eastern Arc.”

NOTES TO EDITORS: MOVA stands for Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) and is used across the UK, including in Oxfordshire, to coordinate traffic lights so that they are more responsive to traffic conditions.