Hundreds of Oxford folk have demanded a cash boost for traders in Botley Road.

More than 400 have signed a petition asking the Government to financially aid businesses on the arterial route.

Their calls come as Network Rail’s partial closure of Botley Road enters its second calendar year.

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Businesses have seen footfall and profits plummet since the road was shut at the rail bridge in April 2023.

The Government is now facing calls to provide traders with a business support fund until the work ends in October.

A petition calling for “immediate action” on this has been signed by 437 people and presented to Parliament.

Oxford Mail: MP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran delivered the petitionMP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran delivered the petition

Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, delivered it to the House of Commons on Wednesday (January 24).

She told the house: “Network Rail’s closure of Botley Road is having a significant and detrimental impact on local businesses with some business owners experiencing up to a 60 per cent drop in income.

“My constituents are extremely concerned for these cherished small businesses with 437 people signing this petition.

“The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take immediate action to ensure local businesses are able to access a business support fund during the extended closure of the Botley Road.”

Business owners have welcomed the idea – but believe help should have arrived sooner.

Oxford Mail: Zack Khan, owner of First Stop Spanner Works tyre shopZack Khan, owner of First Stop Spanner Works tyre shop (Image: Albert Tait)

Zack Khan, owner of First Stop Spanner Works tyre shop, said no support had been offered in the last eight months.

He told the Oxford Mail: “It’s very late in the day to start talking about support measures considering how long it has been going on for.

“Oxford is not really a good proposition for any business at the moment because of a series of unfriendly-business decisions.

“It is no wonder that businesses are moving away.”

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Oxford Mail: Matthew Alden uses a paddleboard outside his site in Osney Mead during floodingMatthew Alden uses a paddleboard outside his site in Osney Mead during flooding (Image: Matthew Alden)

Aldens Oxford butchers, which has traded in the city since 1793, has now moved its wholesale arm out of Osney Mead.

Managing director Matthew Alden blamed “the complete disaster zone of traffic coordination around Oxford”.

He told this newspaper there should be “some sort of compensation” for affected businesses.

Osney councillor Susanna Pressel said any support should extend to traders on the other side of the rail bridge as well.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said the company was “incredibly grateful” to traders for their “patience”.

She added: “In return we are supporting local businesses by encouraging people to ‘buy local’ through a campaign of videos and online promotions that shines a spotlight on the diverse range of business that are available to people on their doorstep.”

The traffic issues in Botley Road have been compounded by works on the A34 Botley Interchange since September.

And disruption is set to last into 2025 as Thames Water reduces Osney Bridge to a single lane for repairs.