TRANSPORT chiefs are planning major changes to one of the main routes into Oxford.

London Road in Headington could be widened and bus lanes extended as part of plans by Oxfordshire County Council .

The proposal, for the stretch between Headington shops and Green Road roundabout, is at an early design stage and a cost has yet to be released.

However, the work could be carried out in 2014, the same year the city council hopes to see the first homes built on the planned 1,000-house Barton West estate.

Much of the traffic from that estate could use London Road to get into the city centre.

Liz Brighouse, who represents Barton and Churchill on the county council, said: “I think it is probably a good idea.

“Headington is absolutely choked with cars so I guess the idea is to get more people into buses.

“Traffic on the London Road backs up to the Green Road roundabout in the mornings and again in the afternoons.”

At the moment the outbound bus lane along London Road starts at Gladstone Road, but it could be extended all the way to the Headington shops.

Council officers are also looking into extending the inbound bus lane from the Green Road roundabout to Gladstone Road.

Repair work to London Road could also be carried out at the same time.

Headington residents say buses which run along London Road – services eight and nine – are often up to 40 minutes late when they should be arriving every six minutes.

The road is also used by park and ride buses to get between Thornhill car park and the city centre as well as coaches to London and its airports.

But Barton Lane resident and regular bus user Michael Kelly, 62, said: “I would like to know how they are going to fit it in. I don’t think there is room.”

In 2010, the county council spent £2m improving the Headington shopping precinct which included installing a bus gate and widening the pavement.

And earlier this year the council also completed the New Headington Transport Improvements scheme which saw around £500,000 spent on making the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Marta Abreu, manager of Posh Fish, said: “Headington is a busy place and it will probably ease congestion.

“But hopefully it will be managed well and done quickly so it doesn’t affect our business.”

Referring to the new plans council spokesman Owen Morton said: “Put simply, the scheme is aimed at reducing delays to buses along this route.

“The plans are still at the design stage and as such, it is unlikely the schemes will be delivered until 2014.”

Mr Morton added that the costs of the project were yet to be worked out.