AFTER years of waiting, work on redeveloping Frideswide Square is to start on Monday – and council officials have promised the first stage of the work will not affect people’s journeys to work.
For the next few months workers for Oxfordshire County Council will do preparatory work, before actual redevelopment begins early next year.
This will include widening and resurfacing Becket Street, starting on Monday.
It also involves creating a new mini-roundabout at the junction of Osney Lane and Hollybush Row and creating a four-way junction with pedestrian crossings at George Street and Worcester Street.
Both of these projects start later in September. County councillor David Nimmo Smith, the cabinet member for transport, said work on the square itself would not start until the new year.
He said: “We are already thinking about how to do the work on the square. It is important to keep Oxford and Oxfordshire open for business and we won’t be doing work that will impact driving through the square until we finish off Kennington roundabout, because that would be too much.
“There will be an impact while the work is being done, so there will be a bit of short-term pain but the benefit will be when it is completed.”
County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “This work will be done off-peak and overnight to minimise any impact on traffic. This is also subject to weather conditions.”
He added that preparatory work would start over the weekend, resuming after Monday rush hour.
The county council is currently turning Kennington roundabout into a “hamburger” junction, with work due to finish in November, which has caused tailbacks.
Oxford Bus Company spokesman Phil Ashworth said: “The works will only be in Becket Street and Osney Lane so should not affect services until New Year.”
Stagecoach spokesman Karen Coventry said: “The first phase of the work, up to Christmas 2014, should not affect our services very much, provided that traffic is kept flowing at the Worcester Street/Park End Street and George Street junction.
“As far as the main works in Frideswide Square are concerned next year, we will be closely monitoring services and if necessary will be deploying extra buses and supervisors to ensure that inconvenience to our customers is kept to a minimum.”
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 on three sides of the square, which is named after Oxford’s patron saint.
Work on the square was supposed to start in January 2013 but was put on hold because of uncertainty over the redevelopment of Oxford Station.
- September 1-10: Becket Street/Botley Road
- September 11-15: Becket Street/Osney Lane
- September 16-26: Osney Lane/Hollybush Row
- September 30-October 9: Resurfacing and lining works at all three of these junctions
- September 29-December 5: Worcester Street/George Street
- Phase two – the work in the square itself – will begin in February next year and is due to be completed by that December
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