Plans for Botley Road traffic closure set out with Network Rail to reveal more in mid-November

Updated 7 November 2022

Network Rail has issued an update about its plans to replace the rail bridge over the Botley Road in Oxford, as part of its wider project to expand the station on the western side.

Detailed discussions with the county council led to the conclusion that there should be a 12-month closure of the Botley Road to traffic for the duration of the work.

Due to scale and nature of the works on the highway, including the need to divert vital utility services such as water, gas and electricity, the impact on Botley Road will be significant. Network Rail plans to publicise further details in mid-November.

During discussions with Network Rail, the county council fully explored a traditional approach of a series of lane closures under temporary traffic lights. However, a condensed 12-month programme with a point closure of Botley Road for the duration of the work is considered preferable as it reduces risk to timeframe/programme.

This method of accommodating the railway work would preserve access to businesses and services along Botley Road and minimise the likelihood of the substantial queueing that would occur with just lane closures. Such queues would then ultimately impact on the A34 and bus journey times.

The currently proposed start date for the works and closure is 9 January 2023.

Pedestrian and cycle access through the closure points is planned to be maintained throughout – although the specific route through may change. It is planned that buses will operate to either side of the closure so those on through-journeys will need to do a short walk and change buses.

Emergency Service access will be provided with the specific arrangements likely to vary depending on the stage of works. 

It is expected that the other main routes into Oxford will get busier. Limited roadworks on these roads will be allowed to help mitigate this. Further parking/loading restrictions may also need to be considered. Use of bus and park and ride services will be strongly promoted for those visiting Oxford.

More detailed information on all of this will be communicated by Network Rail to local communities from November via letters, briefings and drop-in sessions. Further information about the project can be found at www.networkrail.co.uk/oxfordphase2

People can sign up to receive e-mail updates about the work via https://lineside.networkrail.co.uk/oxford-phase-2

The county council is assessing the impact this may have on the timing of its own schemes in and around Oxford.

The council recognises that there would be challenges implementing the six trial traffic filters during the works for the replacement of the rail bridge and the closure of Botley Road as a result. If the council’s cabinet agrees to implement the trial filters, there would be a further recommendation that this should happen after the Botley Road reopens.

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