Plan your journeys to avoid delays during Oxford's St Giles Fair
Anyone travelling into Oxford during St Giles Fair next week is being advised to use public transport, cycling or walking to avoid delays on the roads.
The annual St Giles Fair takes place on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 September and attracts thousands of people to the city.
St Giles will be closed from Sunday (8 September) until noon on Wednesday (11 September), when the fair has closed and packed up.
Buses will still serve the city centre with the usual relocation of some stops to Broad Street as happens every year.
However the associated road closure and work on Walton Street mean that the best option for many motorists is to leave the car at home or use one of the five park and ride sites on the outskirts of Oxford. Work being done on Botley Road by SGN will be suspended during the fair and so there won’t be any impact on traffic.
Walton Street sinkhole work necessary
Walton Street is currently closed to traffic while investigations and repairs are made after the discovery of voids beneath the road surface.
County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet member for Environment, said: “The St Giles Fair is a wonderful event and each year we work with Oxford City Council and the bus companies to make sure this historic event takes place for everyone’s enjoyment.
“If at all possible, don’t drive into Oxford on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday but use the Park and Ride, walk or cycle instead.
“Apart from the usual closures during the fair, there are works on Walton Street which is closed to traffic at the moment. while sinkholes are repaired.
“We are working hard with our contractors to complete the work on Walton Street as soon as possible. It is likely that this complex and unexpected work will continue during St Giles Fair and the road won’t be available as a diversion during the event.
“We will provide an update on the situation in Walton Street as soon as we can. If you have to drive while the fair is on, we would advise you to plan your journey to take closures into account and to follow the signed diversion route.”
Councillor Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City Council and cabinet member for economic development and partnerships: “Urgent repair work in Walton Street and the usual road closures for St Giles’ Fair mean there’s likely to be heavy congestion on all routes into the city on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
“We want everyone to enjoy the fun of the fair and nobody likes being stuck in traffic. If you’re coming into Oxford for St Giles’ Fair I’d urge you to leave your car behind and catch the Park and Ride instead.
“Driving in Oxford is also likely to take longer. If your journey is not essential, why not walk, cycle or take the bus if you can?”
Diversion route for traffic
The signed diversion during the St Giles Fair is via St Margaret’s Road, Banbury Road, Marston Ferry Road, Marston Road, St Clement’s, The Plain, Iffley Road, Donnington Bridge, Abingdon Road and Oxpens Road and viceversa.
Public transport information
Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director said: "The St Giles Fair is a popular event that is one of the highlights of year in the city. We look forward to helping people travel to and from the event via our Park&Ride and City services. Customers should be aware that the usual diversions will be in place with most services picking up and dropping off in Magdalen Street using Broad Street instead.”
"The roads are expected to be very busy so we would encourage people to use public transport where possible. We will work with key stakeholders during the event to keep Oxford moving and publish travel news via our social media channels."
Chris Coleman, Managing Director for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire said "Stagecoach will be operating services to the usual St Giles Fair diversions and to help people understand what this means all details are displayed on our website under the service updates section".
You can find out which of Oxford’s five park and ride sites suits you best at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/public-transport/park-and-ride/locations Bus companies will also be providing information on any of their services that are using the usual St Giles diversions and bus stops – you can find this information on affected buses and bus company websites.