Autumn start date for long-awaited revamp of Frideswide Square

Oxford Mail: County council leader Ian Hudspeth in Frideswide Square County council leader Ian Hudspeth in Frideswide Square

THE work to revamp Oxford’s notorious Frideswide Square bottleneck will start in the Autumn.

Ian Hudspeth, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, revealed he had set a start date for later this year on the scheme, which should take about 12 months to complete.

The square at the top of the Botley Road and entrance to the station is currently controlled by several sets of traffic lights but will be redesigned with roundabouts at either end under the £5.5m plan.

Mr Hudspeth said: “I think it’s fair to say that some disruption will be unavoidable but it’s a case of no pain, no gain. It will be worth it.”

The boulevard-style design will involve creating a large roundabout at the entrance of the station and two mini-roundabouts at the other end of the square in front of the Royal Oxford Hotel.

A series of public open spaces will be created at three sides of the square, which is named after Oxford’s patron saint.

A cause for complaint from drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike because of the difficulty of negotiating its forest of traffic lights, the square was snarled up with traffic earlier this month when Park End Street had to be closed to repair a collapsed sewer.

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The revamp, first put forward in 2011, originally involved a more expensive scheme.

But the plans had to be scaled down – using cheaper materials – after a bid for a £5m Government grant was thrown out by Whitehall.

Mr Hudspeth said: “The work will take about a year to complete but we want to complete it before work for the Westgate (redevelopment) gets under way. The plan is to start the enabling works in the autumn, including opening up the Worcester Street junction and making Becket Street two-way.

“There will then be a break for Christmas before coming back in the New Year, to complete the main square works by the winter of 2015.

“The work will cost £5.5m.”

Spokesman for traders’ group Rox, Graham Jones, has urged the county council to ensure that major development schemes did not clash.

He said: “There is work coming up at Frideswide Square, the Westgate Centre is being developed, and the area around the railway station is going to be refurbished.

“Then there is the masterplan for Oxpens which is supposed to be happening by 2020.

“That’s the centre of Oxford and on the outskirts we have new homes being built at Barton Park and the Northern Gateway development.

“We will be seeking reassurance from the county council that these major schemes are going to be planned and phased, otherwise if there is too much congestion the economy could take a hit.”

But Mr Hudspeth said major schemes would be staggered wherever possible.

He added: “Frideswide Square should be completed by the winter (of 2015), with the new Westgate shopping centre opening in August 2017 and the station works starting no earlier than May 2017.

“Unfortunately there are times that works overlap but, when possible, we try to avoid it.”

Last year it was thought that the work at Frideswide Square would not go ahead before work at the station finished, but that decision has now been reversed.

Simon Hunt, chairman of Oxford cycling group Cyclox, said: “We would have liked to have seen traffic incoming from Botley Road diverted away from the square, along Becket Street to Oxpens Road, and also traffic taken out of Hythe Bridge Street. But getting away from the forest of traffic lights has to be the thing to aim for.”

Comments (17)

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9:10am Tue 22 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

Simon Hunt, chairman of Oxford cycling group Cyclox, said: “We would have liked to have seen traffic incoming from Botley Road diverted away from the square, along Becket Street to Oxpens Road, and also traffic taken out of Hythe Bridge Street"
He also forgot to add, We would like to ban all cars from the centre of Oxford.
It's peole like Hunt why so mant people dont like cyclists when they come up with stupid ideas like his. Yep I'm sure the resisendt of Beckett street would love to have all the extra traffic trundle along their house, oh and don't forget all the lorries and buses.Doh
On another point, it was the County Council that came up with the design of the square last time and ignored all other views, so we are paying for their mistakes again.
Simon Hunt, chairman of Oxford cycling group Cyclox, said: “We would have liked to have seen traffic incoming from Botley Road diverted away from the square, along Becket Street to Oxpens Road, and also traffic taken out of Hythe Bridge Street" He also forgot to add, We would like to ban all cars from the centre of Oxford. It's peole like Hunt why so mant people dont like cyclists when they come up with stupid ideas like his. Yep I'm sure the resisendt of Beckett street would love to have all the extra traffic trundle along their house, oh and don't forget all the lorries and buses.Doh On another point, it was the County Council that came up with the design of the square last time and ignored all other views, so we are paying for their mistakes again. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 2

9:26am Tue 22 Apr 14

EMBOX2 says...

I wonder what odds Ladbrokes would give for OCC mucking this scheme up - again. To be fair(er), the last time this was done was under the OTS - headed by an American who didn't drive, let alone drive in the UK.

So maybe they'll do better. As for Mr. Hunt - poorly thought out comment there. Oxford has always had bad traffic, its the nature of the road layouts in an old city. It can be fixed, but you need to really get people out of their cars, and that means very cheap (i.e. free) bus travel from P&R sites which keep going until past midnight.
I wonder what odds Ladbrokes would give for OCC mucking this scheme up - again. To be fair(er), the last time this was done was under the OTS - headed by an American who didn't drive, let alone drive in the UK. So maybe they'll do better. As for Mr. Hunt - poorly thought out comment there. Oxford has always had bad traffic, its the nature of the road layouts in an old city. It can be fixed, but you need to really get people out of their cars, and that means very cheap (i.e. free) bus travel from P&R sites which keep going until past midnight. EMBOX2
  • Score: 11

9:56am Tue 22 Apr 14

Oxonian says...

Ian Hudspeth says “The work will cost £5.5m.”

So the County Council is using millions of OUR money to fix a problem that they themselves created with their thoughtless planning of Frideswide Square.
Ian Hudspeth says “The work will cost £5.5m.” So the County Council is using millions of OUR money to fix a problem that they themselves created with their thoughtless planning of Frideswide Square. Oxonian
  • Score: 18

10:21am Tue 22 Apr 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 9

11:07am Tue 22 Apr 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh
ire.gov.uk/cms/conte
nt/oxford-station-an
d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!! Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 8

12:25pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh

ire.gov.uk/cms/conte

nt/oxford-station-an

d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
I'd forgotten that they'd printed an impression of the plans.
Obviously the person that's designed the layout has never been to the area, there's about a dozen vehicles shown on the layout, and only 3 of them are buses.
[quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!![/p][/quote]I'd forgotten that they'd printed an impression of the plans. Obviously the person that's designed the layout has never been to the area, there's about a dozen vehicles shown on the layout, and only 3 of them are buses. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 6

1:33pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh


ire.gov.uk/cms/conte


nt/oxford-station-an


d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
I'd forgotten that they'd printed an impression of the plans.
Obviously the person that's designed the layout has never been to the area, there's about a dozen vehicles shown on the layout, and only 3 of them are buses.
If you look at the photo at the top of the article, there's only one car and one bus visible...
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!![/p][/quote]I'd forgotten that they'd printed an impression of the plans. Obviously the person that's designed the layout has never been to the area, there's about a dozen vehicles shown on the layout, and only 3 of them are buses.[/p][/quote]If you look at the photo at the top of the article, there's only one car and one bus visible... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -6

1:37pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

There should be an absolute moratorium on change in this area until such time as Network Rail confirm their plans and timescale for the major rebuild of Oxford Station.

It's very likely that there'll be a new wider railway bridge at this point, and it may not exactly line up with the current bridge. It would be very disappointing if the two projects weren't completely compatible.
There should be an absolute moratorium on change in this area until such time as Network Rail confirm their plans and timescale for the major rebuild of Oxford Station. It's very likely that there'll be a new wider railway bridge at this point, and it may not exactly line up with the current bridge. It would be very disappointing if the two projects weren't completely compatible. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -21

2:51pm Tue 22 Apr 14

King Joke says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh


ire.gov.uk/cms/conte


nt/oxford-station-an


d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
I'd forgotten that they'd printed an impression of the plans.
Obviously the person that's designed the layout has never been to the area, there's about a dozen vehicles shown on the layout, and only 3 of them are buses.
That would put buses at ca 25% of vehicles movements in the area. I'd be surprised if it's that high. A bus every minute or two is an excellent service, but is very low in traffic count terms.
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!![/p][/quote]I'd forgotten that they'd printed an impression of the plans. Obviously the person that's designed the layout has never been to the area, there's about a dozen vehicles shown on the layout, and only 3 of them are buses.[/p][/quote]That would put buses at ca 25% of vehicles movements in the area. I'd be surprised if it's that high. A bus every minute or two is an excellent service, but is very low in traffic count terms. King Joke
  • Score: 1

2:55pm Tue 22 Apr 14

King Joke says...

Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh

ire.gov.uk/cms/conte

nt/oxford-station-an

d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
It might work, but will require box junctions painting on all the roundabouts, or else nothing will ever, ever get out of the Station!
[quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!![/p][/quote]It might work, but will require box junctions painting on all the roundabouts, or else nothing will ever, ever get out of the Station! King Joke
  • Score: 1

3:37pm Tue 22 Apr 14

caz1111 says...

It would have helped if this article had included a drawing of what the plans actually involve. The picture of the present arrangement (obviously taking during the period when Botley road was closed, as there is no other daylight hour period when there is that little traffic!) so it gives us no idea of what it will actually involve.
It would have helped if this article had included a drawing of what the plans actually involve. The picture of the present arrangement (obviously taking during the period when Botley road was closed, as there is no other daylight hour period when there is that little traffic!) so it gives us no idea of what it will actually involve. caz1111
  • Score: 1

3:40pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

King Joke wrote:
Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh


ire.gov.uk/cms/conte


nt/oxford-station-an


d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
It might work, but will require box junctions painting on all the roundabouts, or else nothing will ever, ever get out of the Station!
You're having a laugh aren't you?
You honestly expect people to obey the rules of a box junction, pop down to the junction of Thames Street & Abingdon Road from about 16:30Hrs, you'll see idiots competing to see how many cars they can fit on the box junction at a time......
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!![/p][/quote]It might work, but will require box junctions painting on all the roundabouts, or else nothing will ever, ever get out of the Station![/p][/quote]You're having a laugh aren't you? You honestly expect people to obey the rules of a box junction, pop down to the junction of Thames Street & Abingdon Road from about 16:30Hrs, you'll see idiots competing to see how many cars they can fit on the box junction at a time...... Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 4

3:41pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

caz1111 wrote:
It would have helped if this article had included a drawing of what the plans actually involve. The picture of the present arrangement (obviously taking during the period when Botley road was closed, as there is no other daylight hour period when there is that little traffic!) so it gives us no idea of what it will actually involve.
There's a link to the proposed design in the 5th comment
[quote][p][bold]caz1111[/bold] wrote: It would have helped if this article had included a drawing of what the plans actually involve. The picture of the present arrangement (obviously taking during the period when Botley road was closed, as there is no other daylight hour period when there is that little traffic!) so it gives us no idea of what it will actually involve.[/p][/quote]There's a link to the proposed design in the 5th comment Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

6:41pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Isawyoucoming says...

Autumn of this year till winter 2015 thats more than a year then. the westgate will start before this is finished total mayhem on the roads.
Autumn of this year till winter 2015 thats more than a year then. the westgate will start before this is finished total mayhem on the roads. Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 2

6:54pm Tue 22 Apr 14

King Joke says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
King Joke wrote:
Major Rhode-Werks wrote:
Dilligaf2010 wrote:
Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come
And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh



ire.gov.uk/cms/conte



nt/oxford-station-an



d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!!
It might work, but will require box junctions painting on all the roundabouts, or else nothing will ever, ever get out of the Station!
You're having a laugh aren't you?
You honestly expect people to obey the rules of a box junction, pop down to the junction of Thames Street & Abingdon Road from about 16:30Hrs, you'll see idiots competing to see how many cars they can fit on the box junction at a time......
Too true - and outside the Station too. The boxes would have to be properly enforced, TfL-style, not advisory, which is what in effect they are in Oxford currently.
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Major Rhode-Werks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: Can I be the first to say it's not going to work, it'll be £5.5 million wasted, and we'll be stuck with another abomination for years to come[/p][/quote]And I'll be the second. Looking at the plans https://www.oxfordsh ire.gov.uk/cms/conte nt/oxford-station-an d-frideswide-square there appears to only be one lane coming in and one lane going out with the buses also stopping on the side of that one lane. God help us!!![/p][/quote]It might work, but will require box junctions painting on all the roundabouts, or else nothing will ever, ever get out of the Station![/p][/quote]You're having a laugh aren't you? You honestly expect people to obey the rules of a box junction, pop down to the junction of Thames Street & Abingdon Road from about 16:30Hrs, you'll see idiots competing to see how many cars they can fit on the box junction at a time......[/p][/quote]Too true - and outside the Station too. The boxes would have to be properly enforced, TfL-style, not advisory, which is what in effect they are in Oxford currently. King Joke
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Tue 22 Apr 14

oxchris says...

I don't think the square is a problem but the bridge over Botley Road is.
I don't think the square is a problem but the bridge over Botley Road is. oxchris
  • Score: 2

6:46pm Wed 23 Apr 14

GaryOxford says...

oxchris wrote:
I don't think the square is a problem but the bridge over Botley Road is.
I had heard talk that the passage under the bridge was being widened to three lanes as part of the station redevelopment. I don't know if this is going ahead though.
[quote][p][bold]oxchris[/bold] wrote: I don't think the square is a problem but the bridge over Botley Road is.[/p][/quote]I had heard talk that the passage under the bridge was being widened to three lanes as part of the station redevelopment. I don't know if this is going ahead though. GaryOxford
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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