Oxford Botley Road traffic misery reaction as 2025 date set
Traders and homeowners had hoped that congestion would improve in the road, which has been closed at the rail bridge since April, when it reopens in October next year.
But they have reacted with fury at Thames Water's plan to carry out repair work at Osney Bridge which is set to extend disruption by several months.
The key bridge is expected to be reduced to a single lane of traffic controlled by lights from February next year to March 2025.
It comes as the water company looks to replace a leaking water pipe which was damaged by an Environment Agency boat in April 2021.
Matthew Alden, managing director of Alden’s Butchers in Osney Mead, claimed that his trade would be harmed by the work.
“The council must have traffic marshals controlling the flow,” he said. “If they leave it to purely traffic light timings it’ll be more misery.
“Trade will be affected yet again as people will not be prepared to queue.”
Over the last year, business owners in Botley Road have repeatedly claimed that footfall is being affected by the traffic issues.
As well as the Botley Road closure, there are also issues at Botley Interchange, at the other end of the road, with National Highway work ongoing until March next year.
“The news of Thames Water’s works to Osney Bridge that will result in a single lane closure will no doubt leave residents feeling frustrated and outraged.
“I have written to and met with Thames Water and urged them to coordinate their works with those of Network Rail so that residents would experience minimal disruption.
“I am disappointed these steps have not been taken.
“The chaos on Oxfordshire’s roads have highlighted the need for better coordination and communication between agencies.
“That’s why I am calling for the creation of a Strategic Coordination Group between agencies and local authorities involved in Oxfordshire’s roads.
“We need to see support for local businesses, who are already experiencing difficulties due to the Botley Road closure, and appropriate mitigations for local residents with access and mobility issues.
“It seems that little regard is being paid to the very real impacts of major infrastructure works on local people.”
Highways chief Andrew Gant said: “Unfortunately it has not been possible for the Thames Water repairs to completely overlap with the Botley Road closure, due to restrictions imposed by the Environment Agency about how and when the work can take place.
“This work will involve traffic management and not a full closure and we will work with Thames Water to minimise the impact on residents and business, and its effects on the rest of the road network.”
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