Update: Commuters facing major delays this evening due to works on Botley Road

Oxford Mail: Delays on Botley Road due to electrical works Delays on Botley Road due to electrical works

DRIVERS are facing delays on Botley Road, Oxford, this evening due to electrical works at the junction of Ferry Hinksey Road. 

Southern Electric engineers are digging up the road to repair a cable fault which has been affecting around 70 customers for the last week, a spokesman said. 

This morning there were queues coming in to the city approaching some temporary traffic lights. Motorists are reporting journey times of around 30 minutes from McDonald's to Ferry Hinksey Road and traffic backed up to Cumnor Hill. A driver said: "It's the worst I've ever seen."

One bus passenger said it took him two hours to get from Witney to the end of Botley Road and one commuter said he got off the bus to walk because it was taking so long.  

James Clovell tweeted to say it had taken him 40 minutes to drive less than half a mile up Eynsham Road.

Hannah from Southmoor said the Botley Road works were a "joke" and said she'd been sat in traffic for almost two hours. 

Sophie Johnson said her train was cancelled from Combe so she decided to drive into work but became stuck in Botley Road. 

She said: "I only live 10 miles away in Combe, its ridiculous that the entire road network can come to standstill. Why can't they do the repair work on weekends?"

Oxford Bus Company has said the delays are affecting its S1 services and Stagecoach has said all services that run along Botley Road are facing long delays of up to 60 minutes on the 11, S1 and X30. 

The 4A 10.13 bus from the train station and 10:28 4A departure from Elms Rise will not run because of the delays. The 9.55am U1 departure from Wheatley will operate 20 mins late.

Martin Sutton, managing director of Stagecoach Oxfordshire, said they are suffering major delays on the X30 from Wantage, the 66 from Swindon, the S1 from Witney and Carterton and the 11 from Witney, of an hour or more. 

Southern Electric said the temporary traffic lights would be in place for the rest of the day and that the work would continue until tomorrow. 

Spokesman Gavin Steel said: "Last night engineers located the fault on a section of underground cable in the middle of Botley Road.

"To access that cable safely it has been necessary to remove the permanent traffic lights and install temporary lights, which has caused some disruption to traffic. We would like to apologise for the disruption while engineers complete this work."

He said the traffic lights were currently operating on a fixed pattern, not on a phased pattern which would allow more people into the city during rush hour. 

But he said the company will be sending extra workers down within the next hour to begin manually operating the lights to minimise traffic queues.

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