MAJOR resurfacing works will bring 12 weeks of disruption for road users and businesses on one of Oxford's busiest streets.

A series of closures will shut off parts of the 'crumbling' Cowley Road as Oxfordshire County Council plough £1.5m into improving one of the main routes in and out of the city.

Temporary traffic lights will be installed from Monday, July 8, before works are expected to completely close various sections of the main road from July 29.

Despite welcoming improvements, traders say it comes at a time when businesses on the Cowley Road are battling to claw back custom from the Westgate, and fear yet more disruption will only worsen the problem.

Truck store manager Carl Smithson said businesses are getting fed up with constant disruptions.

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He added: "It doesn’t seem that long ago that they had cut off part of Cowley Road for major works.

"It is hard to know what it is all for, but there seems to be a lot going on. I would say there have been works directly outside the shop about three or four times in the past couple of years, each one a few days at a time.

"The last time was about three months ago and it just disrupts everything. Traffic builds up and people just get their head down and want to get home."

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Another commenter on Twitter, Tony Brett, said: "[Roadworks] done in March and now Oxfordshire County Council seem to be about to rip it all up again and cause 12 weeks of cycling hell. Why? How is this joined up?"

The council response said the recent works were emergency repairs carried out in March - still part of the overall Cowley Road improvements.

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The £1.5m repair works from next month include resurfacing Cowley Road between the Plain Roundabout and Magdalen Road, as well as improving drainage, pathways and replacing buff coloured surfaces.

Oxfordshire County Council has also said works include strengthening the road at bus stops and that these works, although disruptive, will eliminate the need for further maintenance for many years to come.

County council cabinet member for environment Yvonne Constance said: “Cowley Road is an important route into Oxford city centre and I am sure that anyone who travels that way will be pleased with the end result.

"We are spending more than ever on road repairs and have pledged an extra £13m for road maintenance this financial year on top of our existing £18.5m programme of work – this follows last year’s additional £12m."

Potholes, faded markings, and 'ruinous' road surfaces litter the thoroughfare currently and road users hope the works will fix a number of these issues.

Bus Users Oxford commented on Twitter, saying: "In Cowley Road the city-bound bus stop at James Street has been decrepit for years.

"The surface is ruinous. And buses scrape the pavement surface because something is angled wrongly. Will resurfacing include fixing the problem with the pavement?"

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The first three weeks of work will include removal of traffic islands, kerb and drainage repairs under temporary traffic light controls.

The road will then be closed from The Plain roundabout to Temple Street, with three-way traffic lights for diversions on this side road and Stockmore Street, for resurfacing.

As the main phase of work, this is expected to take seven weeks, carried out in nine phases as the works progress along Cowley Road. This will be under a series of full and partial closures.

The final works will reinstate traffic islands and street furniture for two weeks from September 16.

City councillor Tom Hayes said: "My joy at seeing swathes of crumbling Cowley Road receive the resurfacing that we've been calling for it too great."

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Restaurateur Clinton Pugh, who owns Kazbah, Cafe Coco and Cafe Tarifa, said the sooner the works are complete and more focus can be put on bring custom back to Cowley Road the better.

He said: "The difficulty is if work needs to be done, then it needs to be done.

"The quicker it can get done the better, as we could do without any interruptions. We have all been badly affected by the Westgate's development so the quicker this is done the better.

"Any disruption on the roads is going to affect the businesses. I would assume what the council are doing needs to be done and it's certainly better to do it in the summer holidays rather than term time.

"Anything quicker than 12 weeks would be much more appreciated by the business owners I am sure."

The council website says 'delays are likely throughout the works and everyone is being asked to review their daily route, mode of transport and time of travel and where possible consider alternatives'.

Resurfacing at Thornhill Park and Ride will also form part of the wider works from July 22. Off-peak works will install new kerbs and re-set sunken drain covers for two weeks, before resurfacing the Westbound side of the A40 from the park and ride to Ridgeway Road up to August 18.

For a full breakdown of the various closures go to