ROADWORKS will return to a busy road into the centre of Oxford later this month.

Throughout 2019, Botley Road was host to long queues of traffic due to roadworks taking place at the eastern end of the thoroughfare.

Now, Oxfordshire County Council has sent out notices to businesses and homes up and down the road, as well as nearby side streets, to tell them roadworks will begin again on May 26.

This time the works will be to the west end of the road, outside the entrance to Seacourt Park and Ride.

While the 2019 works caused traffic chaos and lost revenue for some, local businesses have mixed feelings about the new construction work due to take place under lockdown.

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The focus of this year's roadworks will be making amendments to bus stops, widening cycle lanes and pavements, replacing traffic lights, and re-tarmacking the road.

The first phase beginning on Tuesday, May 26, will see works take place in a 250m stretch between Seacourt Park and Ride junction and the city centre.

The other five phases taking place will be: at the Westminster Way junction; the A34/A420 junction; between Lamarsh Road and Prestwich place; Prestwich Place to Binsey Lane; Eynsham Road to Poplar Road.

Businesses around Botley Road have had differing opinions about the works.

Zach Khan of Hi-Q Garage, Ferry Hinksey Road, said: "I thought it was bizarre to start work now. As everybody knows, small businesses have been decimated by COVID-19 and it just seems strange that the council is going to go ahead with this scheme instead of delaying it by maybe six to nine months."

Mr Khan's garage has lost a lot of its usual MOT business due to the government extending existing MOTs throughout the lockdown period.

Instead, he is often making repairs to cars where failures would have been picked up by MOTs.

He said: "Yesterday we had a nurse come in and her car brakes had failed. What is happening now is... we are getting more cars coming in that have got these kind of problems. Normally we would have picked them up in the MOT."

Oxford Mail:

Road crews have been making signs to show they are key workers.

Joe Devlin of Botley Road sandwich shop Country Grains said he welcomed the work taking place during lockdown.

Mr Devlin said: "It all depends on whether the lockdown ends, but it would be a good time to do it at the moment.

"But if business comes back to how it should be, obviously it wouldn't be great to have roadworks here."

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In a letter to people living and working on the road, Oxfordshire County Council said road crews would be practising social distancing.

The council is carrying out a £32m year-long road repair scheme.