Work scheduled to improve safety for cyclists at The Plain in Oxford

Work will take place at The Plain junction in Oxford later this month to improve safety for cyclists.

Oxfordshire County Council has been exploring ways of improving safety at The Plain since the death of a young woman on her bike at the junction in a collision involving a lorry on 1 March 2022.

It was one of several tragedies that prompted the council, in June, to adopt the Vision Zero strategy – an ambition to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries by 2050.

Roadworks at The Plain roundabout, Cowley Road, Iffley Road, Cowley Place and St Clement’s Street will begin on 21 November and are expected to finish by 25 November. Work will be carried out through the night (8pm to 5am) to minimise disruption.

The changes to The Plain include:

  • amendments to road markings and traffic signs
  • installation of road studs, bollards and cycle stands
  • installing light cycle lane segregation units
  • vegetation clearance.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “We have spent a considerable amount of time investigating ways of improving safety at The Plain roundabout. These changes were drawn up in collaboration with cycling groups and we are grateful for their help in this process.

“Our commitment to Vision Zero means we will continue to work with local cycling groups to help ensure new cycling infrastructure is designed and delivered to maximise safety. We want people to feel safe and secure when travelling around the city and county by bike and it’s clear that we need to continue to improve.”

The work will involve temporary traffic lights on The Plain with the Cowley Road arm closed to vehicles. Vehicles greater than 7.5 tonnes and buses will be diverted down Iffley Road and Between Towns Road.

Vehicles under 7.5 tonnes travelling towards Cowley will be diverted along Iffley Road then Temple Street. Vehicles travelling towards the city centre will be diverted to Stockmore Street then Iffley Road.

For the duration of the closure, each night, both Temple Street and Stockmore Street will operate one way systems and the low traffic neighbourhood bollards will be removed.

The Plain roundabout has the highest cycle flow of any roundabout in Oxfordshire – and one of the highest in the UK – with around 12,000 bike journeys per day during university term times. It is also a critical junction for many of the city’s bus services.

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