A SECOND summer of gridlock beckons for drivers on Oxford's Botley Road.

Major roadworks will begin at either end of one of the main routes into and out of Oxford on May 26.

Mike Rant, Oxfordshire's county engineer, said it would be necessary to close Botley Road to traffic completely for short periods, which would be outside normal working hours where possible.

He added that essential access to homes, shops and businesses on the road would have to be maintained.

"Alternative routes will be signed for traffic which can divert to other routes, particularly Woodstock and Abingdon roads, during construction," he said.

"The completion of the programme of improvements for Botley Road will enhance conditions for public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists in accordance with the aims of the Oxford Transport Strategy." Oxfordshire County Council will be creating an on-road cycle track in each lane of Botley Road between Binsey Lane and the station; a new footbridge on either side of St Frideswide's Bridge; pelican crossings at Mill Street and in Ferry Hinksey Road; and road and pavement resurfacing.

Railtrack is also building a new station car park in Becket Street, as well as a footbridge across Botley Road which will be linked to the station, and a cycle track in Becket Street.

At the other end of the road, the county council will be building a new access lane specially for cars going to Seacourt park-and-ride from Botley Interchange.

The work will involve lane closures and delays to traffic bound for Botley Road and West Way from the A34 and A420. The roadworks have been timed to coincide with school holidays to try to minimise the inconvenience.

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