MORE than 600 people have signed a petition against Oxfordshire County Council’s proposals for a £12.5m overhaul of Headington’s road network.

The council announced in June plans to invest millions of pounds on major routes in the area to ease traffic to the city centre and the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The proposals, which were put out to consultation between July 3 and August 7, could lead to grass verges and trees being removed in Cherwell Drive to make way for additional lanes on the road.

On-street parking would also be removed from Cherwell Drive and the council has not given an indication of where these parking spaces would be replaced.

It is hoped that the increased lanes will improve travel for staff and visitors to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington.

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith said: “This project is great news for Headington.

“Oxfordshire County Council has been successful in obtaining substantial government funding for the Access to Headington project.

“The funding is to improve access to the area and will help us to make better use of an already busy road network in coming years with the emphasis on public transport, cycling and walking.” But the proposals have caused concern in Headington and Marston as residents worry that communities “will be changed beyond recognition”.

Independent city councillor for Marston and parking campaigner Mick Haines said the proposals were “terrible news” for the district.

Mr Haines has got 601 signatures on a petition against the development, which will significantly affect Headley Way and Cherwell Drive.

He said: “The thing that has seemed to matter most to people is the trees being cut down.”

Mr Haines added: “I think a lot more people are in favour of a road straight to the John Radcliffe from the bypass.”

A spokesperson for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We are reviewing the proposed access to Headington scheme with staff and patient welfare in mind and in relationship to access on and off our hospital sites.

“Our views will be fed back directly to Oxfordshire County Council.”