AN OXFORD city councillor has slammed an ‘absolutely stupid’ plan which he claims will cause more disruption.

Councillor Mick Haines has been angered by Oxfordshire County Council’s proposal to turn a pair of roundabouts on Cherwell Drive into a set of junctions controlled by new sets of traffic lights.

Work on the route is set to start in January and run until November, according to the county council’s website.

Mr Haines claims traffic will be slowed down permanently, exacerbating problems motorists have struggled with at busy times for years.

Independent councillor for Marston, Mr Haines said: “It’s absolutely stupid. I have got nearly 100 signatures written on a petition against (the plan) and I will get a lot more for them.

“The people of Marsden aren’t happy about this.

“The council is going to start on January 13. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Mr Haines: “I think (the council is) after more cycle lanes there but it’s just ridiculous. For the car drivers it’s going to be havoc. (Traffic builds) for a couple of hours in the morning and then it clears itself.”

The project forms part of the county council’s controversial Access to Headington plan.

Overall £12.5m is being spent on infrastructure in an effort to improve roads, roundabouts and traffic lights to cut congestion and encourage more people to cycle.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said the work will still go ahead in Marston despite Mr Haines’ concerns.

He said: “We believe that the proposed changes will bring improvements.

"The Access to Headington programme is designed to provide an attractive alternative to using a car and part of that is making crossing the road safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists.”

One of the owners of the Oxford Car Audio shop on Cherwell Drive, Steve Le Masuriem, said he had not had the plan explained to him by the council – and was worried about the possibility of routing traffic past his shop in the opposite way than is currently the case.

He said: “I don’t understand the decision. (The route decision), that’s the only thing we would be confused by.”

When Headington residents were shown plans for Access to Headington's phase three work last month, some said they were worried about the impact of the ‘absolutely horrific’ disruption that awaited.

The third phase was initially pencilled in for July but it was delayed by the county council, who said it would have placed an ‘unacceptable’ strain on the city’s wider traffic network.

That part of the work will start finally on January 23 and is expected to last for 36 weeks. Severe disruption is expected.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has already issued a warning this month urging visitors and patients to avoid travelling to appointments by car.