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Ploughley Road / A41 Junction improvements

The improvements will increase the capacity of the junction and accommodate any increases in future traffic demands.

Road closure from 19 April to end of March 2023

The duration of the Ploughley Road closure has been extended from 30 November to the end of March 2023, to allow for traffic management improvements and minimise the impact on the A41 and the wider road network.

Ploughley Road is currently closed to enable construction of the improved junction, which began in June 2022. The road closure also allowed us to safely clear vegetation, clear the site and set up a site compound before construction started.

We will be updating residents and businesses over the next few weeks. The following closures, diversions and temporary traffic signals can still be expected until the end of March 2023. Traffic diversions may add a few minutes to your journey depending on local traffic flows.

Ploughley Road closure

  • Ploughley Road will be closed where it meets with the A41.
  • The closure will prevent entry and exit at that point onto either the A41 or Ploughley Road.
  • The closure will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Traffic diversions

  • If you are travelling south towards Ambrosden along the open section of Ploughley Road, you will be diverted via Ambrosden and Blackthorn Road onto the B4011 and then onto the A41.
  • If you are travelling on the A41 towards Ploughley Road you will be diverted onto the B4011, then onto Blackthorn Road and finally onto Ploughley Road.
  • Blackthorn remains accessible via the B4011 and there should be no increase in travel time.
  • Merton, Upper Arncott and Lower Arncott remain accessible via the B4011 through Ambrosden from and to the A41, and there should be no increase in travel time.

Temporary traffic signals

There will be temporary traffic lights situated on the A41 where Ploughley Road meets the A41. This may slightly lengthen your journey time on the A41 by four to six minutes to and from Bicester depending on local traffic flows.

Pedestrians

People on foot or on bikes will have access through the road closure along the existing Ploughley Road footpath to access Symmetry Park and the relocated bus stops.

Changes to local bus stops

The Symmetry Park bus stop on Ploughley Road will be suspended and the Symmetry Park bus stop on the A41 will be temporarily relocated further along the A41 and identified by temporary bus stop signs on the pavements.

Other traffic management measures

For particular phases of the programme of works, we will need to implement additional traffic management measures. These will be listed below and updated prior to them being made.

A41 Ploughley Road Project - Monthly 4-week look-ahead for Traffic Management
Date Type of traffic management Time of operation Duration Day/Night Direction/location
17/01/23 to 20/02/23 Single lane running under two way lights control 24 hours 34 days 24 hours A41 North eastbound and westbound
20/02/23 to 17/03/23 Single lane running under two way lights control 24 hours 25 days 24 hours A41 South eastbound and westbound
until 17/03/23 Full closure of Ploughely Road 24 hours 71 days (remaining)  24 hours Ploughley Road Jct  A41

Please see the map below which shows the location and details of the diversions.

Drainage works in the A41 have progressed, however rain and problems with underground services have caused delays. The two-way lights will be removed as programmed on 9 December for the festive period. Works to the drainage stopped early to ensure this could happen and the trench has to be reinstated and tested prior to reopening. The two-way lights will be reinstated in January 2023 until early February whilst the drainage works are completed and works to the lane gain and splitter islands are undertaken. The site team are reviewing the programme to minimise further disruption.

There have been a number of motorists jumping the lights on the A41 which causes increased delays. Opposing vehicles take time to clear as one side has to reverse to the end of the closure. A vehicle passing a red signal also puts the lights into automatic all red which can only be reset manually. Jumping red lights is dangerous, illegal and causes increased delays to traffic. We ask motorists to be patient and to obey all signals and signage.

About the project

These improvements are part of the Bicester Garden Town infrastructure programme and are essential to support the planned development and the successful delivery of the garden town. 

The early delivery of critical infrastructures like roads, cycleways, and pedestrian crossings is key to ensuring that we can accommodate the expected increases in population from the new garden town without adversely impacting local residents, who will benefit from improved facilities.

The improved junction will include:

  • banning turning left into Ploughley Road from the A41
  • banning turning right out of Ploughley Road onto the A41
  • a single lane accommodating the A41 eastbound for vehicles going ahead
  • a pedestrian crossing to the east of the junction
  • increased shared-use footpath/cycleway provisions
  • kerb realignment
  • introduction of a new junction with traffic lights
  • introduction of new toucan crossings (allowing for pedestrian and cycle use)
  • resurfacing / new footpath construction

Vehicles will continue to have access from Ambrosden from the east via the B4011 and will be able to use the new roundabout on the A41.

Timetable of activity
Activity Target date
Feasibility scheme design Complete
Preliminary design Complete
Ground investigation works Complete (October 2021)
Detailed design Ongoing (Commenced November 2021)
Site investigation and vegetation removal Complete (Summer 2022 to early 2023)
Construction June 2022 to early 2023

How it is being funded

The total project costs are expected to be in the region of £3.8m. The scheme is being financed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, through the Bicester Garden Town Fund.

Contact

If you would like to get in touch, please email ploughleyroad@oxfordshire.gov.uk