CONGESTION in Kennington due to work on the Southern Bypass damaged surfaces of the Oxford Road and Upper Road, a parish councillor has claimed.

Alan Cobb, vice-chairman of Kennington parish council, said there had already been damage to the surface due to previous roadworks and it had now got worse.

He said: “Between late 2012 and Christmas last year there was a lot of traffic re-routed through Kennington because the Oxford Road collapsed due to subsidence.

“Now, because of the Southern Bypass roadworks, we once again have a lot of traffic coming through and it’s causing more damage.

“In some sections it’s very dangerous because cyclists have to ride around the damaged patches of the road and it pushes them closer to traffic.”

Mr Cobb said the parish council had asked the Oxford Bus Company last year for the 35 route, which passes through Kennington, to be serviced by double-decker buses, instead of the current single deckers.

He said: “We were told the roads weren’t suitable for double-deckers but now with the diversions in place we have the X2, X3 and X13 all travelling through, and they are all double-deckers. If the road wasn’t suitable for the 35 to be a double-decker then, why do we have these buses using it now?

“With all the traffic and all the buses we are starting to wonder if we are a test case to see how much abuse the surface can take before it completely deteriorates.”

Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall denied the road was unsuitable for double-deckers.

He said: “At peak times people in Kennington will be seeing more buses at the moment because of the roadworks.

“We are sorry if this causes inconvenience to people in Kennington but it’s the only way we can keep our services and our passengers on the move.

“There is no reason why we couldn’t use a double-decker bus on the City 35 service if passenger numbers warranted it at some point in the future but we have no immediate plans to do that.”

Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for the upkeep of roads in Kennington.

Spokesman Paul Smith said: “Our improvements to the Hinksey Hill interchange and Kennington roundabout will reduce congestion on the ring road and A34.
“If parish councillors have issues to raise, they are welcome to get in touch with us.’’

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