Work on next phase of Access to Headington postponed

The start of the next phase of the Access to Headington transport improvement project has been postponed.

Work had been due to start on Headley Way on 22 January along the length of Headley Way including the junction works outside the John Radcliffe hospital and on the Marsh Lane junction.

Technical issues and funding opportunities

We will be starting work again soon and will publicise the new start date when we have it.

The original budget for this phase was around £6m and based on original estimates, however with all construction jobs of this type the contractor will submit a firm price based on a range of factors including the cost of materials closer to the start of work. The price was higher than expected and so the council is taking the sensible step of reviewing the options.

This has also provided an opportunity to seek additional sources of funding to include improvements that had previously been unaffordable along with ways to reduce costs so that the improvement work goes ahead.

In addition to this, recent trial holes to confirm utility locations and ground conditions associated with the retaining wall proposed on Headley Way between the Marsh Lane and Bowness Avenue, has highlighted that there may be an opportunity to build it in a less disruptive way.

Commitment to the next phase of work

County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet member for Environment and Economy, said: “We are still committed to delivering the project and some facilitating work will continue at weekends so that we are ready.

“This is a challenging and much needed piece of work and it makes sense to look again at the costs and designs to ensure that it can be delivered on budget. We had hoped to resolve this without needing to pause the scheme but require more time to reach a conclusion.”

Depending on further funding being available the council will either set a new date for work to start to the original design, potentially enhance the plans with elements we had previously removed on cost grounds or scale back the work.

Work in other areas going well

Work on The Slade is programmed to finish in February providing a new off-carriageway facility for cyclists as well as improved crossings. Once complete known issues such as parking obstructing the path will see enforcement action taking place.

The new junction on Gipsy Lane, completed early 2017, is working well and we will continue monitoring that over the duration of the Access to Headington programme.

The latest work undertaken on Old Road/Churchill Drive and Churchill Drive/Roosevelt Drive is now complete and working well providing improved access for the Churchill Hospital site.