MOTORISTS will face another round of delays from May 14 as a delayed £16m road project finally gets underway.

The third and final stage of Access to Headington was meant to start in January – but was delayed so the county council could apply for extra funding. That £3.5m was agreed in March.

County councillor Roz Smith said all work starting would have a ‘grim’ impact on the road network from next month. It is anticipated to run until the end of the year.

She said: “It will be a problem for people, especially on Tuesday and Thursday because that’s when the hospital consultants have their outpatient appointments so I am really feeling for them.”

Ahead of the anticipated work in January, the John Radcliffe Hospital warned it could take up to two hours for visitors to park there. The county council said preparatory work will reduce anticipated delays.

Other work for a new cycle lane began on Thursday. Some residents and councillors were upset trees on Cherwell Drive and Marsh Lane had been cut down.

The county council said information on the felling of 24 trees had been given out in 2015 and 2016.

The removal of the trees had been ‘pretty devastating’ for residents, Ms Smith said, but the council had promised to plant others elsewhere.

Kate Vaughan-Fowler, the owner of Deli-licious, on Cherwell Drive, said: “It saddens me so much. The trees were taken down in full bloom. It seems a complete waste. They were part of the parade and contributed to the whole ambience of the place. It’s awful.”

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said the trees had been cut down to make way for a new cycle path and junction improvements.

He said: “Information about the trees was included in the plans and meetings dating back to 2015 and have been raised in meetings with the local councillors as well as email updates.”

Mick Haines, independent city councillor, said the trees’ removal was ‘scandalous’.

A critic of Access to Headington, he said: “I think [the trees’ removal] is terrible. I don’t think the project is going to work at all.”

Mr Haines disputes the need for cycling improvements along Cherwell Drive. He said he counted all vehicles there between 7.30am and 9.30am on March 9 and that 1,660 cars and just 14 cyclists passed him.

The county council will hold a drop-in information session for residents smithat the Northway Community Centre from 2pm to 4pm next Friday.