Despite public posts apologising for 'very high levels of traffic' this week, bus operators have maintained the overall impact of the Botley Road closure is 'reasonable'. 

Heavy congestion was reported around the south of Oxford, with the ring road particularly affected yesterday morning (April 20).

This prompted Thames Travel to apologise to passengers as Oxford's road network continues to feel the strain of the main arterial route into the city being closed off at Botley Bridge.

Commuters trying to use the Hinksey Hill roundabout have faced delays of up to 30 minutes each day since Tuesday when schools returned from the holidays.

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Thames Travel said in a public statement yesterday morning: “Due to very high traffic levels caused by the Botley Road closure, we are seeing major delays on all routes entering Oxford from the south.

“This is impacting X2, X32 and ST1 services with delays of up to 35 minutes being observed.

“Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”


Oxford Bus Company then posted on social media that the delays were affecting its X3 and 35 services.

But speaking about the overall impact on bus operators since the Botley Road closure began, a spokesman for Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel told the Oxford Mail that traffic flow has "generally been reasonable". 

He added: “Unfortunately, we have experienced some delays at times this week, including this morning [Thursday], which were predominantly caused by an accident on the strategic road network and unrelated to the closure.

“We keep our passengers updated on bus times via our app and social media platforms.”

This comes following comments made by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways Andrew Gant saying that he would keep the city moving during the closure.

He said in March: “As with any project of this scale, it will inevitably mean disruption – in this case the closure of Botley Road for two significant periods.

“While this cannot be avoided, we will do all we can to minimise the impact on the rest of the road network.

“We will work closely with Network Rail and our other partners, such as the bus companies, to keep the city moving during this period.”

Botley Road is currently closed at the rail bridge to allow for a multi-million-pound redevelopment of Oxford Station to take place.

It is open to pedestrians and cyclists only, with drivers forced to find an alternative route into the city.

This has led to much more traffic than usual using the Oxford ring road around the edge of the city.

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The rail bridge is not due to open until October with a similar closure scheduled for next year.

Buses are currently terminating at Osney Island with passengers having to walk under the rail bridge on foot and pick up a different bus on the other side.

Oxford County Council has maintained they are monitoring the impact of the closure on traffic.

A council spokeswoman previously said: “We continue to carefully monitor the Botley Road and the impact of the closure on the rest of the road system in Oxford.

“The schools are now back, and traffic levels are higher.

“We’ll continue to assess the situation over a number of days and weeks.”