Work on the Plain roundabout put on hold

Oxfordshire County Council had been scheduled to start work on a £1.3m scheme to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and well as delivering a new road surface and other maintenance improvements.

Part of the scheme, which involves changing the traffic light timing at Longwall Street to improve traffic flows, will still be done.

County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Because of the concerns people have raised about congestion on the roads we have decided to postpone work on the Plain roundabout until after Christmas. That will hopefully be welcome news for anyone worried about the impact of the work starting next week.

“The phase we would have started on Monday would have been mainly on the footway and we had programmed the work this way to take into account the disruption elsewhere. The more disruptive phase of this scheme was always planned to take place after Christmas.

“However, although the impact of the first phase on the carriageway would have been small, we know any additional impact could have a major knock on effect to the current situation.

“The work must be done, but we have decided to look for a way to do it all after Christmas when the work at Kennington will be complete and the busy Christmas shopping period is out of the way. By then there will be more capacity on the road network.

“Work is progressing at Kennington and I am looking forward to the contraflow coming off at the end of November – I am sure everyone is looking forward to this. When that happens there will be more capacity on the roads and the improvements we have been working on there will also have a beneficial effect.”

What the work will involve

The work will include widening of footways, enhanced entry treatments onto the roundabout and reducing the width of the carriageway at the roundabout. This will help to slow vehicle speeds whilst keeping traffic moving.

Additional improvements will take place at the junction of Longwall Street and High Street – there will be changes to the signal timings to benefit all road users. The county council has also applied to Department for Transport to have an ‘early release’ at the lights for eastbound cyclists to allow them to get ahead of vehicles through the narrow stretch of road by Magdalen College. Across Magdalen Bridge the eastbound cycle lane will be widened and the pavements will be renewed.

A great deal of work has gone into developing a design that will benefit cyclists and pedestrians while catering for the needs of public transport and other road users that will continue to use this route into the city.

Details on when work will start and the schedule are to be decided.