Cycle City Ambition Grant application

Plans to improve The Plain Roundabout in Oxford using a £835,000 Government grant

View of the plain

In August 2013, the Government announced that Oxfordshire County Council had been successful in bidding for £835,000 to deliver major improvements to The Plain roundabout in Oxford, aimed at encouraging more cycling through this key gateway to the city centre.  Oxford was one of only 8 cities to receive money.  

The Plain has for a long time been high up on the list of concerns for cyclists in the city, along with the narrow section of Botley Road under the railway bridge and the neighbouring traffic light junction in Frideswide Square.

We agree with cycling campaign group Cyclox and the national cycle route charity Sustrans (whose local office is close by on the Cowley Road) that The Plain can be intimidating to use for cyclists, and that improvements to slow vehicles on the roundabout and as they approach it will encourage more people to travel through it by bike on their way to work or the shops in the city centre.  

About the grant

We applied for a Cycle City Ambition Grant of £835,000, to help deliver a £965,000 scheme to improve road safety at The Plain, particularly for cyclists. The proposed approach to design that the bid was based on involved making the roundabout and its approaches narrower to help reduce vehicle speeds and make cyclists feel safer as they make their way in and out of the city centre. The design would make crossing the roads approaching the roundabout much easier than now.

The county and city councils have committed £135,000 of locally held funds to the project.

What happens next

Having met with key stakeholders, local businesses and councillors in October, significant progress has been made on the design.  Further discussions are being held with these groups early in 2014 and the scheme design will then be reported to the County Council Cabinet Member for Environment Decision meeting on 27 March to seek approval to go to detailed design and construction.  If this is agreed, construction would start in the autumn and finish by the end of March 2015.

As part of the scheme, changes to the loading bays at The Plain are needed.  We are also planning to improve the operation of the traffic lights at the Longwall Street/High Street junction to make the approach to The Plain more comfortable for cyclists (but the changes should reduce delays for all road users).  Both of these changes are being consulted on formally in January.  The results of the consultation will be reported to the same committee meeting as the wider scheme.

For more details please contact Craig Rossington on craig.rossington@oxfordshire.gov.uk or 01865 815575

Last reviewed
10 January 2014
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