Upgrades happening to The Plain roundabout in Oxford have been praised as an improvement for both cyclists and motorists.

Work to improve the junction is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s Vision Zero strategy – an ambitious project to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries by 2050.

The strategy was promoted by the death of Dr Ling Felce on the roundabout in March, after she was struck by unlicenced HGV driver Robert Whiting.

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Oxford Mail: The work will take place until Friday The work will take place until Friday (Image: Newsquest)

40-year-old Whiting was sentenced to eight years in prison in September after Oxford Crown Court found he was high on cocaine behind the wheel.

Roadworks at The Plain roundabout, Cowley Road, Iffley Road, Cowley Place and St Clement’s Street began on Monday (November 21) and are expected to finish by Friday (November 25).

Work will be carried out through the night (8pm to 5am) to minimise disruption.

The changes to The Plain include:

  • amendments to road markings and traffic signs
  • installation of road studs, bollards and cycle stands
  • installing light cycle lane segregation units
  • vegetation clearance

Oxford Mail: The roadworks are part of the county council's Vision Zero strategyThe roadworks are part of the county council's Vision Zero strategy (Image: Newsquest)

Dr Alison Hill, chair of cycle campaign group Cyclox, said: “The Plain roundabout is a deterrent to many people who want to cycle between east Oxford and the city.

“It has the reputation of being the most dangerous junction in the UK outside London. 

“We appreciate that the county council has involved us and other cycling groups in advising on changes to the junction to help improve safety.  

“Ultimately much more radical changes will be needed to eliminate serious collisions, but these improvements will make a difference.

“We look forward to working with the county council to improving safety for cycling at other junctions around the city.”

Oxford Mail: The Plain is considered one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the UKThe Plain is considered one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the UK (Image: Newsquest)

Oxfordshire’s cycling champion and Lib Dem councillor for Eynsham, Dan Levy, said: “The work on The Plain is designed to make it safer and easier to use.

“It is a complicated junction, and has put some people off cycling through the area. 

“Combined with other improvements, like the better bike lanes down Iffley Road, we believe The Plain changes will make a big difference to how easy it is to get between east Oxford and the city centre. 

“Among other things, the new design will make  it easier to tell where all road users are headed, so it will be better for car users too."

Oxford Mail: The improvements are part of a wider scheme of work The improvements are part of a wider scheme of work (Image: Newsquest)

When the work was announced councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways management, said: “We have spent a considerable amount of time investigating ways of improving safety at The Plain roundabout.

"These changes were drawn up in collaboration with cycling groups and we are grateful for their help in this process.

“Our commitment to Vision Zero means we will continue to work with local cycling groups to help ensure new cycling infrastructure is designed and delivered to maximise safety.

"We want people to feel safe and secure when travelling around the city and county by bike and it’s clear that we need to continue to improve.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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