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Bicester Congestion Plans Approved
£1.3 million plans to tackle congestion in Bicester town centre have been given the go-ahead by the county council.
Improvements will be made to the junctions of Banbury Road, Buckingham Road, North Street, St John’s Street, Field Street and Queens Avenue, where there's heavy congestion, especially around peak times.
As well as improving traffic flow, councillors want to make the area better for pedestrians and cyclists.
During a consultation the majority of people in the town supported the plan.
Oxfordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader Rodney Rose said: “Anyone familiar with travelling through the centre of Bicester will know there are significant congestion problems at this location – particularly during rush hour.
"A huge amount of work has gone into this and we now have a really strong package of measures to get things moving much better for everyone.”
Now that approval has been given, highways officers will start work on a timetable for delivering the scheme and further details will be released in due course.
The main changes will be;
- The roundabout at Banbury and Buckingham Roads will be altered from a five-arm to a three-arm roundabout to reduce vehicle movements and improve traffic flow. Roman Way and North Street will be closed off to motor traffic from the north. Cycle, pedestrian and emergency vehicle access will still be permitted to North Street/Roman Way, which will enable safer and more convenient access to the town centre, removing a known barrier for pedestrians and cyclists.
- North Street and Roman Way will be transformed into a cul-de-sac area with two-way access from St John’s Street, eliminating through-traffic and creating a more pleasant environment, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.
- St John’s Street will change from one-way (westbound) to two-way. This will allow traffic to access the town centre from Field Street/Queens Avenue and remove buses from The Causeway and the Banbury/Buckingham Road roundabout, which are currently a cause of congestion. The traffic signals will be removed and replaced at St John’s Street/Field Street with a mini-roundabout to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion. A raised zebra crossing will also be installed just east of Manorsfield Road to aid pedestrian movements, with a widened pavement on the north side of St John’s Street.
- The Field Street signalised crossing will become a zebra crossing to allow for pedestrian priority, with a cycle lane northbound from Bucknell Road. The right turn ban coming out of Bucknell Road will be removed, with one added to prevent right turns from Field Street to ease queuing traffic.
- The Queens Avenue measures will include new bus laybys, a new lane turning right into Bicester Community College and changing the signalised crossing to a zebra crossing. These will help to prevent queuing traffic which results in vehicles being blocked at St John’s Street.
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