Extensive work is being carried out at Oxford station including the addition of a new platform, new track and a second, accessible, entrance on the west side. The bridge over Botley Road will be rebuilt with a 4m cycle/footpath on either side and with the height increased to allow larger double-decker buses to pass underneath.
A consequence of this work is that Botley Road will be closed at the railway bridge from 9 January to December 2023.
Pedestrian and cycle access past the site will be possible although the precise route for this is not clear. Buses will continue to operate to either side of the site and passengers will have to make a short walk to catch a different bus on the other side.
The Oxford Business Action Group has said that this is unacceptable and have asked for the plan to be rethought. They have suggested that the new bridge should be prefabricated off site and then assembled and put in place. They claim that this would mean that the road closure could be reduced from a year to four or five months.
How this will impact on traffic remains to be seen. It seems likely that some drivers including commercial traffic will follow other, already busy, routes such as the A40 instead. We also wonder whether users of the Seacourt Park and Ride will be prepared to change buses on their way into or out of the city or will prefer to use other Park and Rides, again adding to the traffic on other roads. One way or another with this, the low traffic neighbourhood scheme and the plan to divide Oxford into six zones with restrictions on movement from one zone to another, getting around Oxford is going to be a challenging experience.