The introduction of traffic filters should only go ahead after the one-year closure of Botley Road has concluded, council leaders will be advised.

It emerged last week that the multi-million pound scheme to improve Oxford railway station will result in a year-long closure, starting on January 9.

The county council and Network Rail have agreed that closing the road from January to December, at Botley Road rail bridge, is now the best course of action.

Read again: Botley Road will be closed for 12 months

The road will remain open, but traffic will not be able to drive under the rail bridge.

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A decision on introducing six new bus gates - otherwise known as traffic filters - on a trial basis is due to go ahead at a cabinet meeting on November 29, with a view to introducing them in the summer of 2023.

But councillors will now be advised that even if they give the bus gates the go-ahead, they should not be introduced during 2023.

A county council spokesman said: "The council recognises that there would be challenges implementing the trial traffic filters during the works for the replacement of the rail bridge and the resultant closure of Botley Road.

"As a result, should cabinet agree to implement the trial filters, there would be a further recommendation that this should happen after the Botley Road reopens."

Work during the 12-month period will include re-routing utilities - water, electricity, gas and broadband - replacing the rail bridge in the summer, finishing work on Osney Bridge, and starting building work on the new western entrance of the station.

Oxford Mail:

Read more: Botley Road closure could delay bus gates 

Network Rail earlier indicated that work would take 14 weeks. While drivers and buses will still be able to access Botley Road, they will not be able to get through to Frideswide Square, and drivers in the square will not be able to access Botley Road.

A bus turning circle could be created where Station Grill, formerly Mick's Cafe, is situated.

Network Rail said earlier in a statement: "While there is still detailed work to be done to finalise our plans for what is a very complex project, the most likely scenario now is that the road under the bridge will be closed to all vehicles, apart from emergency services, for 12 months from January to December 2023."

Read again: Station Grill diner to be demolished 

Graham Jones, a spokesman for Oxford Business Action Group, said: "We are staggered that the county council is prepared to let Network Rail close the Botley Road for 12 months.

Oxford Mail:

"Councillors can now take time to look properly at the consultation responses on the traffic filters proposal.

"OBAG opposes the traffic filters and wants the council to look at alternatives and work closely with businesses and residents."

Hotelier Jeremy Mogford, a founder of OBAG, added: "We remain implacably opposed to the bus gates as we feel they will be detrimental for the economy of the city and the culture of the city."

The new camera-enforced traffic filters, like the one operating in High Street, could be introduced in Marston Ferry Road, St Cross Road, Hythe Bridge Street, Thames Street, St Clement's and Hollow Way.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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