A controversial plan to close part of Oxford's London Road is to be ditched.

Earlier this year, Oxfordshire County Council's highways department outlined a plan to close part of the busy road in Headington or improve it with bus priority lanes and traffic calming measures.

The idea had attracted widespread opposition and in August a 700-signature petition was presented to highways chiefs. Closing the road would have meant rerouting traffic through Marston.

On Tuesday (November 15), county councillors will be told closure is not an option.

Buses will instead be directed along Osler Road and round the back of the John Radcliffe Hospital, and the pedestrian subway underneath London Road will be closed. Headington city councillor Stephen Tall said: "It's obviously welcome news that the proposed 'nuclear option' of closing the London Road to through traffic has been jettisoned. This was always a crazy idea which would simply have diverted London Road's heavy traffic into Old Headington, Marston and Wood Farm.

"The approach the county has chosen -- remodelling the London Road to be like the Cowley Road -- is the better alternative but it is far from perfect.

"It proposes Osler Road, a narrow residential side street, is a suitable bus route into the JR.

"In reality all it will mean is more buses clogging up London Road throughout the day. More worrying still, this approach will do nothing to reduce the volume of traffic which leads to daily gridlock in central Headington.

"That is bad news for residents, and bad news for staff, patients and visitors who need access to the hospitals."

Work has recently finished on a £1.6m project to improve traffic flow on the Cowley Road, but disruption during the improvements led some shop owners to call for a rent reduction.