COMMUTERS are being warned to watch out for more than 7,000 prospective Oxford University students arriving in the city centre for an open day.

Undergraduate applicants and their families will be visiting Oxford tomorrow as the university's colleges and departments open their doors.

In the past the open days have caused serious congestion for commuters, and traffic was brought to a standstill for the last event on June 28.

As a result university staff have been liaising with Oxfordshire County Council’s traffic management team, Oxford City Council, and local bus companies to keep traffic flowing and the park-and-rides running smoothly.

Oxford Bus Company has also worked with the undergraduate admissions team to alert their regular passengers, boost the park-and-ride timetable and lay on extra staff.

Helen Charlesworth, head of communications in the admissions and outreach team at Oxford University, said: "Thousands of visitors attended the open days in 2016 and earlier this summer and large numbers are expected tomorrow.

"In anticipation of this the university has been working closely with the county and city councils, transport providers and traders to ensure that the day runs smoothly and that local businesses are poised to take advantage of the extra trading opportunities generated by the surge in visitors.

"The university is doing its utmost to keep the local community and commuters informed, as it is important that residents are prepared for the increased numbers of visitors and travellers on public transport.

"The exact number of visitors is unknown but, if recent events are anything to go by, it is likely to be more than 7,000 people."

Teenagers and their families will be arriving to find out more about undergraduate courses, the colleges and the university in general.

Many university departments will host drop-in sessions and tours for prospective students and parents, giving visitors the chance to talk to tutors and current students.

The undergraduate admissions team will run an open day information centre at the Examination Schools in High Street, where student services staff will be available to give advice.

The Oxford University Student Union will also offer a taste of student life, together with a selection of the 400 clubs and societies currently available to undergraduates.

Dr Samina Khan, director of undergraduate admissions and outreach at Oxford, said: "It’s particularly important that students from as wide a range of backgrounds and schools as possible get a chance to see life at Oxford up close.

"A key part of this is doing our best to be a good neighbour to all those who live and work in the city by minimising disruption and ensuring our visitors see Oxford as a welcoming place for all.’

University volunteers will be at Oxford railway station and park-and-ride car parks to direct visitors.