CHANGES are being made to one of Oxford’s trickiest junctions to make life easier for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Highways managers have written to traders to let them know that work will start on Worcester Street on Monday, lasting for seven weeks and people are being warned that delays are expected.

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The current 'crossroad' layout has been in place since 2014 when the junction was first changed because of major work being carried out in Frideswide Square.

The new layout costing £210,000 will instead feature separated streams of traffic.

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City and county councillor Susanna Pressel welcomed the changes but added alterations in 2014 were a mistake.

She said: “Pedestrians often have to wait a long time, so some cross before they should.

"It is dangerous for cyclists coming from Hythe Bridge Street and trying to go straight on or turning right: there have been many accidents involving bikes.

“Vehicular traffic sometimes has to wait too long as well.

“It is now to be put back to almost how it used to be five years ago. I only hope that the county council has learnt lessons from this waste of money.”

Oxford Mail:

Owen Jenkins, director for infrastructure delivery, said: “The improvement works to the junction will include a change of layout by separating the junction into two streams of traffic, Worcester Street (north) and Hythe Bridge Street will operate together while George Street and Worcester Street (South) will work separately.

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“Improvements will also be made to cater for the safe movements of both pedestrians and cyclists through and around the junction.

“The works will include minor carriageway widening, traffic islands (to separate the junction) and signals works including new ducting.”

Oxford Mail:

Ms Pressel added: “One reason why it is taking such a long time to make the junction safe is because this time they have consulted local pedestrian and cycle organisations and listened carefully to their advice – thank goodness.”

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“The reason they changed the junction five years ago is because they anticipated traffic problems arising from the changes at Frideswide Square – but they got it wrong.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Jenkins added: “Every effort will be made during the construction period to minimise the impact on the travelling public.

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"However, delays are likely throughout the time when the roadworks are under way and everyone is being asked to review their daily route, mode of transport and time of travel and where possible consider alternatives.”

Dr Alison Hill. chairwoman of cycling campaign group Cyclox, welcomed the changes.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “At the moment it’s unsafe for cyclists going from Hythe Bridge Street to George Street because the refuge is inadequate but there’s going to be a more substantial one created and more hi-tech traffic lights.

“It should be an improvement for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Oxford Mail:

Liam Walker, cabinet member for highways delivery and operations, said: “This is the latest in a series of gradual improvements we have been making in this area.

“Major developments like the Westgate, Oxpens and Osney Mead mean that we have to have a plan to meet the increased demands this places on the transport network and I am confident that the £210,000 will be money well spent.”