TEMPORARY traffic lights and road closures will be in place in St Clements Street and surrounding roads over almost two months for a

£500,000 sewer upgrade project , it has been announced.
Engineers from Thames Water will be onside from Monday, July 10 laying a new 50m pipe to increase the capacity of the sewer network and reduce the risk of flooding to basements in the area.

Tankers are currently used to remove excess sewage from pipes but this project is meant to provide a permanent solution.

Temporary lights will be in place in St Clements Street between Dawson Street and Jeune Street and will be manually controlled 7am to 7pm each day.

Near the end of the scheme the same roads will be closed to traffic for three weeks, with diversions via Rectory Road, Jeune Street and Cowley Road.

Work is expected to be finished by Sunday, September 3.

Thames Water project manager Justin Boustouller said: "This is a really important piece of work to upgrade the sewers and protect residents and businesses from sewer flooding. 

"The old brick system urgently needs improving so it can cope with the volumes of sewage it receives from an ever-growing population.

" While we appreciate the work will cause some disruption it’s important we make our network fit for the future. We’ve planned the work extremely carefully so the road closure will coincide with school holidays."

Some changes to bus stops and routes are likely to take place and passengers will be notified in advance.

Letters have also been sent out to about 700 homes and businesses in St Clements and the surrounding area.

Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for environment, said: “We have worked together with Thames Water to time the work for the quietest time on the roads and to come up with the least disruptive option for what is a very important piece of work.

“The county council is keeping in regular contact with Thames Water. We will monitor the work and ensure that the traffic management is appropriate at all times.

“There is the potential for the work to be very disruptive at times so the advice is to plan your journeys, allow extra time and keep up to date with the local traffic news.”