TRAFFIC jams on Oxfordshire roads are worse than ever, according to a new report.

In the 20/15 academic year, it took a painstaking 4mins and 35 secs on average to travel just a mile in the county, with average speeds just over 13mph.

The biggest bottleneck was Botley Road, where it took more than 11 minutes to travel one mile during morning rush hour.

Other blackspots are Cowley Road, London Road and Iffley Road – along with Banbury Road, Abingdon Road and Woodstock Road – as 9,800 vehicles on average battled the queues in Oxford between 7am and 10am – up 500 from the previous year and another record high.

It comes as another report released this month warned worsening congestion was "a key concern" for business and the local economy.

The report by independent economic consultants SQW said the queues faced by commuters were a “key concern” for businesses in the district.

The business report, titled Oxfordshire Innovation Update, acknowledged there had been some improvements to the road network but said these were “unlikely to satisfy business expectations for reduced congestion”.

It warned: “The capacity of the main strategic roads in Oxfordshire remains a key concern of businesses.”

John Boyle, co-founder and managing director of Oxford Computer Consultants in Hythe Bridge Street, said congestion made finding and keeping staff more difficult.

Heavy tailbacks on the A40 put him off recruiting staff who live in the west of the county.

He said: “We will happily recruit people who live near Banbury, Bicester or other train stations outside the county, but would think hard about someone who lives near Witney, because they will very quickly get fed up with the commuting.”

He added: “By the time they get here, it’s not a pleasant way to start your day and it’s too much.

“We have almost given up on the idea of people coming in via that route and have had people leave, because the commute became too much.”

Mr Boyle, whose firm supplies software and tech support, said heavy traffic also causes problems with client meetings.

The congestion report by the council revealed journey times across the county were getting progressively longer over the past five years.

And the average journey time per mile in Oxford city at morning peak has climbed from five minutes and 58 seconds in 2010 to six minutes and 21 seconds in 2015.

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “If you look at the raw statistics, it’s difficult to argue against them.

“I fully understand businesses’ problems, but for the past 20-30 years we haven’t had much investment into Oxfordshire’s transport system.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Hudspeth stressed the council was working hard to remedy the congestion, with major, ongoing road improvements.

He said traffic flow had improved where roadworks had completed, such as Frideswide Square, Hinksey Hill and Abingdon Road roundabouts, and London Road, and appealed to businesses and commuters be patient until the whole programme was finished.

He added: “Once the roadworks are completed, businesses and everyone else really will see the benefits. In the next congestion monitoring report, we will see a reversal of the current trend.”

A spokeswoman for Oxfordshire County Council said: “Oxfordshire County Council has been improving the city’s ring road for many years, particularly since 2005, when Headington roundabout was improved.

“Since then we’ve improved Heyford Hill, Kennington, Hinksey, and are now doing Cutteslowe and Wolvercote.

“These schemes reduce ring road congestion and therefore also help encourage people to use the ring road and park-and-rides rather than routes within the city.

“However these schemes won’t work on their own, they are part of a bigger strategy.

“In particular, we also have to tackle traffic growth and there are proposals in that Local Transport Plan for mass transit, walking and cycling.”

Oxford's nightmare roads

AVERAGE peak journey time in mins/secs per mile (week days, term time)

Oxford Mail:
Botley Road:

7.30am to 9.30am: 9 mins 54 secs

8.45am to 9am: 11 mins 39 secs

Oxford Mail:
Cowley Road:

7.30am to 9.30am: 6 mins 39 secs

8.45am to 9am: 8 mins 19 secs

Oxford Mail:
London Road:

7.30am to 9.30am: 6 mins 23 secs

8.45am to 9am: 6 mins 10 secs

Oxford Mail:
Iffley Road:

7.30am to 9.30am: 6 mins

8.45am to 9am: 6 mins 40 secs