BUS companies have backed proposals for a £12.5m package of transport improvements in Headington despite objections from residents.

Views are split on Oxfordshire County Council’s Access to Headington project, which will see new cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings and bus lanes in a bid to ease traffic congestion.

The consultation period for comments on the scheme ended on August 7 and now council officers are working their way through people’s responses.

Some residents have feared more traffic will clog up their streets and are unhappy with plans to remove grass verges and trees in some areas.

Top News

But others feel the project will improve access to businesses in the area and both Stagecoach Oxford and Oxford Bus Company said they supported the proposals.

Managing director of Stagecoach Martin Sutton said: “We strongly support the county council’s proposals and have submitted a joint response with Oxford Bus Company to that effect.

“We have also made some suggestions to improve matters further, bearing in mind the future anticipated growth in activity in the Headington area.”

The programme of works would cover the B4495 from Cherwell Drive/Marsh Lane to Horspath Driftway and the Eastern Bypass, as well as Old Road. Work could start as early as summer 2016 and last until to spring in 2018 and comes after 18 months of roadworks in London Road, which finished earlier this year.

The plans suggest some roads, including Windmill Road and Headley Way, could have their on-street parking removed for bus and cycle lanes to be built. Cherwell Drive could see its grass verges removed and bus stop relocated.

In response to the council’s plans, chairman of Oxford Civic Society Peter Thompson said the civic society was supportive of the scheme’s aims of reducing traffic congestion and job growth.

But Mr Thompson said that current traffic conditions in Headington had not been measured, adding that no models had been published detailing the expected impact of the proposals.

County councillor for Headington Roz Smith said she understood that that up to 1,000 people had responded but added that, in her opinion, the consultation period should have been longer than five weeks.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Paul Smith said a report to cabinet members would be compiled with recommendations, but said there was no date set when it would be released.