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Highways chiefs approve town centre road changes
6:10pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Bicester
PLANS for a major reworking of Bicester town centre roads have been given the go ahead.
Oxfordshire County Council has approved plans to make St John’s Street two-way, replace traffic lights with a roundabout at its junction with Queens Avenue, replace current traffic light crossings with zebra crossings and close off North Street and Roman Way and create a cul-de-sac. A raised zebra crossing will also be installed near Manorsfield Road and pavements on the north side of St John’s Street will be widened.
The council devised the £1.3m scheme — funded by developers — in a bid to tackle congestion and improve cycle and pedestrian links.
A consultation over the changes in July and August met with a mixed response.
Businesses in North Street raised concerns the changes could harm their trade, and cause problems for deliveries and jams on Fields Street and Queens Avenue.
Residents in North Street and Roman Way welcomed the changes, saying they would improve their lives.
Solicitor Rod Cantelli, of Cantelli & Co, North Street, spoke in opposition to the plans at County Hall, Oxford, on Thursday.
Afterwards he said: “What they are ensuring is that everything goes down Field Street.
“All the traffic for Roman Way and North Street has to go down Field Street and there is no relief road.
“They should have left North Street alone.
“I suspect in a year’s time I will be writing to them to say I told you so.”
North Street resident Joe Dickson, who submitted a petition to the council backing the scheme, said: “I’m over the moon at the decision.”
He added: “My only issue would be if they changed the residents’ parking scheme to include businesses.”