Key design plans agreed for Botley Road rail bridge

Oxfordshire County Council has opened a consultation for members of the public to share their thoughts on planned Network Rail development at the Botley Road site in Oxford.

The proposals are part of ongoing work to provide a new western entrance to the city station for passengers and to replace the existing rail bridge.

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This follows an announcement from the rail authority in September 2023, which is working on a £161m upgrade of Oxford rail station, that it no longer planned to reopen the major route at the rail bridge from October 29 until March 2024 due to a number of “unique challenges”.

Oxford Mail: Traffic at Botley Road.Traffic at Botley Road. (Image: Oxford Mail)

The route will remain closed at the rail bridge until October 2024.

A county council spokesman said: “The overall outcome of the changes to infrastructure is expected to make walking and cycling along Botley Road to and from the city centre and the rail station – including the new western entrance – safer and more attractive.

“Off carriageway facilities for cyclists shared with pedestrians are proposed because of the high volumes of traffic on the Botley Road, although cyclists will be able to continue to use the carriageway along this stretch of Botley Road.

“No cycle lane markings are currently proposed from Abbey Road to Becket Street although they could be added following the implementation of the improvements, if monitoring and feedback shows this to be needed.”

Plans put forward by the council include design features of the new bridge, shared use footway and cycleway proposals, as well as a raised toucan crossing and speed table.

Oxford Mail: The bridge before development work started.The bridge before development work started. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

As part of the new bridge, two 4m wide tunnels under the rail tracks would be provided, one on each side of Botley Road.

It is proposed the space would be shared equally between cyclists and pedestrians with space for each user group demarcated through the use of surfacing materials, markings and signage.

On the north side of the Botley Road, from Cripley Road as far as Abbey Road, the existing footway would be converted to shared use as a footpath and cycle way.

On the south side, from Mill Street to a point just opposite the eastern kerb line of Abbey Road, the existing footway would be converted to shared use with cyclists. 

Other details covered in the key design plans include raised side road entry treatments and informal uncontrolled crossings.

Oxford Mail: There is currently no access for through traffic.There is currently no access for through traffic. (Image: Photo: Oxford Mail)

The council requires consultation responses to be completed and returned by 5pm on Friday, April 26.

After this, a report will be presented to the council highways chief at a meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 23, if objections are received.

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