CONCERNS have been raised about plans to temporarily divert traffic from the A420 Cumnor bypass through nearby villages during roadworks.

Oxfordshire County Council said the diversion would enable eight-week repairs to the embankment of the westbound carriageway just east of Tilbury Lane.

They are expected to begin on Tuesday, April 7 – closing the bypass between Botley and Cumnor and costing £400,000.

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “A combination of factors have contributed to the failure of the embankment, but the main issue is that defective drainage pipes have caused the fill material to soften and subsequently cause the ‘over steep’ embankment to fail.”

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While the closure is in place, the council says it will divert traffic through Wootton via the A34, A4183 and the B4017.

But there is concern about large vehicles driving through the village as well as a clash with roadworks coming up at Boars Hill.

Wootton Parish Council clerk George Edmonds- Brown said: “Our main concern is heavy goods vehicles because we expect local people will just use Cumnor Hill.

“But the B4017 is quite a busy road already and it is really not built to handle lorries.”

Yvonne Oppon, of Bedwell’s Heath, said further problems could also be caused by a clash with works due to take place at Foxcombe Road in Boars Hill and Sandy Lane in Old Boars Hill.

She said signs appeared this week which told residents that Foxcombe Road would close from March 30 for five days.

And Sandy Lane is also set to close for three to four weeks from the same day.

Mrs Oppon added: “It is poor timing. There seems to be a combination of lots of road closures at the moment.

“Everyone knows they have got to do the work but it is going to be inconvenient.”

The county council said closing part of the Cumnor bypass was necessary because the embankment alongside the westbound carriageway had subsided by about 40cm.

On its website, the council said: “Previous attempts to repair the road surface have proved unsuccessful and a full repair of the embankment is now required.

“Once the embankment has been repaired, the westbound carriageway will be resurfaced.”

The eastbound carriageway would be open and unaffected during the work.

Last October, highways engineers were also called to Bagley Wood Road in Kennington because of problems caused by subsidence.

Yesterday, the county council also announced overnight closures on the A34 are due to begin today.

Between Chilton and Milton the northbound carriageway is to be closed from 9pm to 5am.

And from tomorrow, it also plans to close the southbound carriageway between Marcham and Milton during the same hours. It is part of ongoing work to overhaul the Milton Interchange.