Botley Road improvements (phase 1)

Work to provide major bus, cycle and pedestrian improvements along Botley Road.

Latest update

A initial public consultation on proposals for Botley Road was undertaken during May and June 2019.

An amended design incorporating these amendments has now been completed and revised plans showing the latest proposals are provided below.. As well as highlighting the proposals for the scheme the plans also show the measures requiring formal consultation such as traffic regulation orders, bus facilities and new / changes to pedestrian and cyclist crossings. The necessary legal notices behind these measures are also available below.

Changes to the design proposals resulting from the initial consultation include;

  • Amended, and additional, cyclist facilities at Eynsham Road junction,
  • Pedestrian refuge added to the west of Church Way,
  • Poplar Road puffin crossing (return to staggered arrangement),
  • North Hinksey Lane east & west,
  • Continuation of the eastbound bus lane across the Seacourt Tower Retail Park junction,
  • Seacourt P&R Junction – changes to the layout of the proposed staggered crossing, and change in lane dedication for lane 2 to ‘right turn only’ on Botley Road westbound approach,
  • Proposals for short stay parking on numerous side streets (due to bay removals),
  • Provision of a hard standing/turning area outside house number 106 Botley Road,
  • Extension of 20mph speed limit (to start at Binsey Lane junction).

Side road entry treatments and floating bus stop arrangements remain subject to detailed design.

Cycle lane / path demarcation remains subject to ongoing discussions including whole life costings i.e. future maintenance/revenue implications.

A formal consultation will run from 31 October to 29 November 2019 and full details can be found on the council’s consultation page.

If you have any comments about these proposals, please complete the online questionnaire available at the link above. 

The closing date for this consultation is Friday 29 November 2019.

Why we are doing this project?

Botley Road is recognised as being a very slow route in and out of Oxford city centre   facing daily congestion problems and poor journey experiences for road users. The corridor is a vital public transport link in Oxford as it:

  • offers the only east to west route in and out of the city from the west;
  • supports a high proportion of cycling; and
  • serves a diverse function for buses, both local services and the park and ride, as well as intra-urban services.

Improving public transport

Building upon objectives set out in the Oxford Transport Strategy, a study of Botley Road was completed in 2016 which confirmed, following stakeholder feedback, the value of a high-quality route that prioritised sustainable transport modes to ease congestion, reduce journey times and improve journey experience.

The project presents an opportunity to provide a route that prioritises sustainable transport along the corridor between Binsey Lane and Eynsham Road; specifically, for buses, cyclists and pedestrians. The project aims to:

  • encourage greater use of more sustainable modes of transport - buses, cycling and walking
  • ease congestion on the route
  • reduce bus journey times so buses have an advantage over general traffic
  • provide a safer, more continuous and attractive route for cyclists and pedestrians 
  • reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.
  • Unlock economic growth and job creation opportunities by benefiting development sites with improved access and additional capacity.

These improvements will be further enhanced with future proposals such as Connecting Oxford and Network Rails proposed widening at Botley Rail Bridge.

What we are proposing?

The key changes that will be brought about by this project include:

  • Bus priority measures to improve bus journey times and reliability along the corridor.
  • Major cycle improvements to create a safer and continuous route along the corridor. This includes changes to several junctions along the route, notably changing the layout of junctions to encourage a reduction in the speed of vehicles using them, and providing additional cycle lanes to provide a clearly marked space for cyclists. 
  • More consistent and improved pedestrian provision, including additional crossings.
  • Road srface repairs and improvements which will improve the condition and ride quality of the road to the benefit of all users.

What happens next?

Following completion of the formal consultation any unresolved objections will be reported to the Cabinet Member for Environment’s Decisions Meeting on Thursday 19 December.

Subject to the outcome of the Decisions Meeting, construction is currently scheduled to start from spring 2020 . We will listen to and communicate clearly with residents, road users and businesses helping us to minimise disruption as far as possible.

Diagrams and plans

Frequently asked questions

What are the Botley Road corridor improvements?

£9.1m has been secured to develop a package of work to improve the travelling experience along the Botley Road and provide a route that prioritises sustainable transport; specifically, for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

The proposed improvements to the Botley Road corridor aims to:

  • ease congestion on the route
  • reduce bus journey times by avoiding the key bottlenecks so that they have an advantage over general traffic
  • provide a safer and more attractive route for cyclists and pedestrians 
  • reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.
  • encourage greater use of more sustainable modes of transport such as buses, cycling and walking

It will also:

  • unlock economic growth and job creation opportunities by benefiting development sites with improved access and additional capacity, including supporting further housing and growth in Oxford city centre, Botley and along the A420.
  • introduce smart technology along the corridor and provide some of the groundwork for the upcoming Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) trials.

What are the works and how will it improve the area?

Phase 1 of the project covers the length of Botley Road from its junction with Eynsham Road to its junction with Binsey Lane.

Phase 2 extends from Binsey Lane to the Botley Road rail bridge.

Proposed improvements include:

  • upgraded junctions including at Eynsham Road and at Seacourt P & R
  • new cycle lanes including shared pedestrian and cycle paths
  • new pedestrian and cycle crossings
  • side road entry treatments
  • bus priority measures
  • ‘Floating’ bus stops

Why is it needed?

This project is needed as Botley Road is recognised as being a very slow route in and out of the city centre, facing daily congestion problems, poor journey experiences for all road users.

A study of the Botley Road corridor in early 2016 identified key changes were needed to encourage more people to travel by bus or other sustainable transport options to reduce the overall amount of traffic and reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

How much will it cost?

The total project will cost around £9.1m.

This budget is sufficient to progress Phase 1 through to construction however it currently only permits Phase 2 to be progressed to the end of preliminary design.

Where is the money coming from to pay for it?

The proposed improvements are funded via a variety of sources such as the department for transport National Productivity Investment Fund, Growth Deal and (s106) developer contributions.

When will work start?

Advanced works such as diversions or protection of statutory undertaker apparatus (gas, electric, water etc) is currently forecast from January 2020 with the first phase of the main works following on from spring 2020.

Works are likely to be undertaken in phases the exact order and timing of which are to yet to be confirmed.

Where will the first phase of work start?

The exact phasing for the construction of the works is yet to be determined. This will be considered during the next phase of design and updates to the programme of works will be posted on the project webpage at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/botleyroad

What is the overall programme of works?

Following the public exhibition on the proposed general arrangement for the corridor in May 2019 the project will be subjected to a period of preliminary and detailed design up to late 2019.

Advanced / enabling works are currently scheduled from January 2020 followed by the commencement of the main works from spring 2020 for an estimated period of nine months. This forecast programme is subject to ongoing review and any changes will be advertised widely in advance of any works commencing.

What will be the hours of working?

Our working hours are typically 7:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Saturday mornings will be utilised when necessary. The working hours on Saturdays will be 7am to 1pm and advanced notification of any Saturday works will be provided.

Occasionally we may need to do night time working in order to carry out work which we are unable to do during the day (due to lack of space or safety), in which case the hours will be 8pm to 6am. We will ensure that all residents and those that are affected are informed in advance of these night time closures and any other work that may have a significant impact.  

What is the impact on traffic going to be?

The aim of the work is ultimately to make travelling in and out of Oxford along the Botley Road better, but in the short term the work will cause some inconvenience.

We will be working hard to minimise disruption in a number of ways. Any temporary traffic lights we use will be manually controlled throughout the day so that we can respond quickly to traffic conditions as they happen.

The advice is always to plan your journeys to avoid being late. Public transport, including park and rides, is likely to be a better option for many people and is recommended.

Some of our works will require short periods of road closures. These are likely to be undertaken in the evening and overnight with traffic likely to be affected.

For road closures there will be diversion signs in place and advanced warning signs prior to the closures being implemented. Advanced notification will be given to affected residents and businesses also.

Will there be any impact on parking?

There may be temporary disruption to on street parking during construction, in which case we will provide advanced notice of this.

There are locations within the scheme where parking is proposed to be removed completely and the Traffic Regulation Order’s (TRO’s) for these will be consulted on during autumn 2019. You will be able to find out more information on these areas on the projects webpage www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/botleyroad

Will there be noise?

Noise will be limited as much as possible but there will be periods when noise is unavoidable.

When we do work at night, noise will be limited to before 11pm as per our Section 61 agreement with Oxford City Council. Communication will be undertaken prior to these works being undertaken.

Will there be road / lane closures?

Yes, there will be road / lane closures, they will be advertised on site before happening and will be limited to evenings and nights. We will also outline all road closures on the project webpage and in the e-bulletin.

Will there be diversions?

Yes, there will be signed diversions associated with any road closures.

Will I still be able to get to work/ to my house?

We will be closing roads whilst we carry out the work. However, we will do what we can to make sure access is maintained where possible. Our project team will be on hand to assist where necessary.

Access for vehicular driveways may be affected, but the contractor will discuss this with you and, where possible, make arrangements to ensure that individual access is retained during the works where possible.

What will the emergency services do?

All emergency services will be informed of road closures and roadworks so that they can choose the most appropriate route. Emergency services are allowed to pass through road closures and are well practiced in finding the best ways to get to their destination in all circumstances. Assistance from the project team will also be provided.

How will public transport be affected?

We have been in regular contact with the bus companies prior to the project starting and will continue to do so throughout the scheme. Public transport will continue to run but may be affected by any delays due to the roadworks. We would advise allowing a little longer for your journey.

How will businesses be affected?

There will be times throughout the project when we will be working directly outside businesses. We will work with our contractor to ensure there are no access restrictions to the business and they will be able to run as normal including the receiving and making of deliveries.

How do I keep up to date with what is going on?

During the design process you can keep up to date with progress via the project webpage at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/botleyroad

When the project gets to the construction stage our project team will also be delivering letters throughout the scheme to residents and businesses advising of any work that is likely to be directly disruptive to them and prior to any significant changes to the traffic management set up. You can also sign up, via the above project web page, to our project e-bulletin which will be sent out via email on approximately a fortnightly basis.

How can I ask a questions or make a complaint?

Should you have any questions or wish to make a complaint you can email highwayenquiries@oxfordshire.gov.uk, or call us on 0345 310 11 11.

Bus lanes – what are the hours of operation?

24/7 along the route.  

Will cyclists still be able to use bus lanes.

Yes, along with hackney carriages (taxis) 

What happens with the comments from the consultation?

The project team will review all of the comments received and this will inform the design going forward.  We are looking at preferences on the side road entry treatments and will consider the majority views on these. There will be another consultation following the next design stage which will allow you to review the updated drawings and provide further comments.