Traffic lights will come to a notoriously “dangerous” and “congested” roundabout with plans underway to trial the measures next month.

Oxfordshire County Council is set to conduct the experiment on the Plain Roundabout in Oxford between Monday February 5 and Friday February 9, from 3–7pm.

The lights will be installed temporarily on Iffley Road and Magdalen Bridge with these both being “approach lanes" to the roundabout.

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County councillor Damian Haywood, who is of the Iffley Fields & St Mary's division, said: “There is no doubt that at certain times of the day there is congestion at The Plain.

“This trial is to see whether the lights alleviate any of the congestion.”

Mr Haywood said he would be interested in observing whether the traffic lights also made a difference to safety, though this was not a primary aim of the trial.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Damian Haywood.Councillor Damian Haywood. (Image: Ed Nix.)

He added: “It’s an incredibly dangerous part of the road network there.

“There are regular near-misses.

“It’s one of those things we have to try and see.

“Will it make a difference?

“I genuinely don’t know.”

Councillor Emily Kerr, who represents the St Mary's Ward, said: “It’s great that the county council is trialling traffic lights at The Plain to help speed up the buses on St. Clements.

“I gather several smaller trials haven’t worked so a more significant intervention is clearly needed.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Emily Kerr.Councillor Emily Kerr. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

“As we know, the East Oxford LTNs in my ward have had a huge number of positive effects: accidents halved, cycling up 20 per cent, car use down 10 per cent, pollution cut for 90 per cent of residents, but the key issue is we also know they’ve caused increased congestion at the plain especially from St. Clements.

“I welcome this trial which should hopefully improve bus times and I’ll be following the results closely.”

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed: “The exercise is to discover whether or not by controlling traffic entering The Plain Roundabout from Iffley Road and Magdalen Bridge will allow traffic from St Clements and Cowley Road to flow more efficiently on the roundabout especially during the afternoon peak time.

“During the trial period the traffic in the immediate area of The Plain Roundabout will be continually monitored and should the traffic network in the area become overly congested the trial will be suspended.”

Councillor Chris Jarvis, also of the St Mary’s Ward, added: “Clearly, there is an issue of congestion at the Plain, particularly during private school term time and at peak hours.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Chris Jarvis.Councillor Chris Jarvis. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

“This is nothing new, and has been a longstanding problem that makes our buses less reliable than they should be.

"Because of this, measures designed to ease congestion and improve the reliability and speed of buses should be explored, and so I welcome this trial."

A Labour county council motion was brought forward in December calling for an investigation into installing traffic lights at The Plain, though councillors ran out of time to debate it.

Mr Haywood said that discussion had already been underway at the time into looking at a trial for the measure.

Recommendations agreed by the county council in October had included approving the investigation of measures such as a "potential trial of temporary peak-time only traffic signals at or near The Plain to help regulate flows”.