Oxford MP Layla Moran has demanded an emergency summit with Network Rail over the “chaotic and dangerous” closure of Botley Road.

The six month closure of Botley Road started on April 11 and since then the stretch of road beneath the railway bridge between Frideswide Square and Mill Street has been shut off to motorists - causing traffic congestion and commuter chaos.

Pedestrians and cyclists are still able to use a narrow throughfare but Ms Moran has expressed “serious” safety concerns with this current route through. 

Network Rail has said it is working closely with both councils, the bus companies, residents and businesses to "reduce disruption as much as possible".

READ MORE: Disabled bus passengers can use 'Botley Flyer' during road closure

The company also thanked the public for their patience while this work is carried out.

But having visited the bridge on Friday morning, Ms Moran has called the westbound bus stop by the bridge a “disaster” and “completely inadequate” for the number of people needing to commute in and out of Oxford.

The Oxford Bus Company has reported “heavy delays” to their routes since the closure started - with the cityX1 and X3 services often facing delays of up to 30 minutes.


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Ms Moran said she visited when the site was fairly quiet but at busier times she has been told the “whole area is chaotic and dangerous”.

Ms Moran said she now wants to sit down with local bus companies, Network Rail and Oxfordshire Council Council, as “too many people are struggling to get to work, to school and to important appointments in Oxford and beyond, or to return in reasonable time”.

READ MORE: Botley Road closure going 'really well', says Oxford councillor

This latest criticism of Network Rail comes despite Oxfordshire councillor and cabinet member for highway management Andrew Gant describing the closure as “working really well” on April 12.

Ms Moran has said it was “clear to me that much more needs to be done to improve the safety and ease of travel for many”.

She has highlighted that the signing before the tunnel is “not clear” or in the “right places” and this means cyclists can’t use alternative routes when travelling to Jericho and to both North and East Oxford.

Ms Moran also emphasised that householders in Botley, Cumnor and Appleton now “feel completely abandoned and stranded by the road closure”.

READ MORE: Oxford bus operator blames lengthy delays on Botley Road closure

When visiting this morning, Ms Moran said she witnessed first hand “several people having to step onto the road to go around the bus stop” and said marshals were not helping people safely navigate the blocked pavement.

Ms Moran said specifically that marshals were “positioned too far from the tunnel at either end of the passage” and this meant they were unable to tell cyclists to stay off their bikes and prevent motorbikes or larger vehicles from travelling through.

In a letter shared with the Oxford Mail by Ms Moran's office, Network Rail the MP it will be reviewing signage and the location of marshals near the tunnel.

READ MORE: 'Taxi to GP surgery cost me £23 because of the Botley Road closure'

Network Rail also told the MP that its community relations team will be writing to residents asap.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: "We welcome feedback on the Botley Road closure and will seek to make any necessary adjustments to how the closure is managed following comments from Layla Moran MP and the local community over the past few weeks since the road has been closed at the railway bridge."

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: "Oxfordshire County Council will continue to work with Network Rail and other partners to tackle issues as they arise while the Oxford Station redevelopment work is taking place."