Roadworks ahead at city’s Frideswide Square junction

An artist’s impression of how Frideswide Square will look

An artist’s impression of how Frideswide Square will look

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

WORK on redeveloping one of Oxford’s busiest junctions will begin in just two months.

Oxfordshire County Council is planning to start preparatory work on Frideswide Square in September, with roadworks lasting until December 2015.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said there would be a month-long break in the roadworks over the Christmas period.

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

Oxford Mail:

  • How the square looks now

The council has just released this new artist’s impression of what it might look like. Mr Hudspeth said: “In September we will start enabling work which is getting everything prepared and making sure there are no issues with the utilities rather than digging a hole in the road and stumbling across a pipe half way through.

“It does mean there will be some disruption from September but there will be a break over Christmas.

“What we are trying to do is to encourage people to think of alternative ways of coming into Oxford because once there are roadworks on, there will be disruption.”

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The preparatory work will finish in December with the construction of the new junction starting in February and running until the end of the year.

A consultation will be held in August to help the county council find out what people would like the streetscape to look like, including issues such as the paving and benches. Mr Hudspeth said: “If everybody turns around and says we need proper Yorkstone slabs there will be extra cost involved and we always look to go with the best quality possible.

“But we have got to strike the balance between having a good, working junction that provides access for cars, pedestrians, buses and cyclists and a junction that is pretty.”

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.

During the roadworks, traffic will be diverted through Becket Street, up Osney Lane, along Hollybush Row and into Park End Street.

Oxford City Council is set to agree this week to give £670,000 towards the scheme.

The council’s head of city development Michael Crofton Briggs said: “Frideswide Square is of strategic importance in Oxford and Oxfordshire’s road network, handling tens of thousands of car, bus, cycle and pedestrian journeys every day. It is also the gateway to the area for rail passengers. An estimated 5.5m people pass through the station each year. Frideswide Square is the main point of arrival and departure for people using the station.”

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Comments (7)

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7:19am Mon 30 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

£5.5M - but how long is it going to last, and will it fit in well with the intended rebuild of the railway station?

Also, will it allow the area to cope with the maximum number of passengers arriving at Oxford Railway station at any one moment post-EW?

At peak times you could have a fully loaded express train arriving from Paddington, a "slow" service arriving from Reading, Express from Birmingham as well as express from Marylebone and local from Milton Keynes. That's over 2000 people hitting Frideswide in the space of a few minutes.
£5.5M - but how long is it going to last, and will it fit in well with the intended rebuild of the railway station? Also, will it allow the area to cope with the maximum number of passengers arriving at Oxford Railway station at any one moment post-EW? At peak times you could have a fully loaded express train arriving from Paddington, a "slow" service arriving from Reading, Express from Birmingham as well as express from Marylebone and local from Milton Keynes. That's over 2000 people hitting Frideswide in the space of a few minutes. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

11:07am Mon 30 Jun 14

Oxonian says...

The "artist's impression" doesn't show any traffic. This means that buses and other traffic will be pushed onto adjacent roads, clogging them up still further. Madness!
The "artist's impression" doesn't show any traffic. This means that buses and other traffic will be pushed onto adjacent roads, clogging them up still further. Madness! Oxonian
  • Score: 1

11:32am Mon 30 Jun 14

H.J.Harris says...

Have faith, it's bound to work out OK. A lot of planning has gone into this
Have faith, it's bound to work out OK. A lot of planning has gone into this H.J.Harris
  • Score: -1

12:01pm Mon 30 Jun 14

blundelo says...

Oxonian wrote:
The "artist's impression" doesn't show any traffic. This means that buses and other traffic will be pushed onto adjacent roads, clogging them up still further. Madness!
As I understand it, the bus/taxi only section of the square will be closed to motor traffic, creating the boulevard area, and the adjacent section of road aligned with Hythe Bridge Street will take all of the motor traffic.

For the diversion via Becket Street/Osney Lane/Hollybush Row, does anyone know if Becket Street will be opened to two-way traffic with a suspension of on-street parking to facilitate this? I don't see how this diversionary route could operate otherwise.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: The "artist's impression" doesn't show any traffic. This means that buses and other traffic will be pushed onto adjacent roads, clogging them up still further. Madness![/p][/quote]As I understand it, the bus/taxi only section of the square will be closed to motor traffic, creating the boulevard area, and the adjacent section of road aligned with Hythe Bridge Street will take all of the motor traffic. For the diversion via Becket Street/Osney Lane/Hollybush Row, does anyone know if Becket Street will be opened to two-way traffic with a suspension of on-street parking to facilitate this? I don't see how this diversionary route could operate otherwise. blundelo
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Mon 30 Jun 14

King Joke says...

Yes Becket St will be two-way, accessed via a four-way roundabout at the western end of Frideswide Square.
Yes Becket St will be two-way, accessed via a four-way roundabout at the western end of Frideswide Square. King Joke
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Isawyoucoming says...

The chinese restaurant has been closed for about two years. this derelict building is an eyesore, something needs to be done about it.
The chinese restaurant has been closed for about two years. this derelict building is an eyesore, something needs to be done about it. Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 1

6:49pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Isawyoucoming wrote:
The chinese restaurant has been closed for about two years. this derelict building is an eyesore, something needs to be done about it.
There are a few messy bits round there. What's in the "Maroon" place these days? I can't remember noticing...

It never fails to surprise me that a major grocer hasn't grabbed a site down there for an "Express", "Local" or "Metro" store.
[quote][p][bold]Isawyoucoming[/bold] wrote: The chinese restaurant has been closed for about two years. this derelict building is an eyesore, something needs to be done about it.[/p][/quote]There are a few messy bits round there. What's in the "Maroon" place these days? I can't remember noticing... It never fails to surprise me that a major grocer hasn't grabbed a site down there for an "Express", "Local" or "Metro" store. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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