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Complaints see plans for bus lane changed
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new bus lane in Headington have been changed after residents complained.
Major changes to the scheme in London Road have been proposed after Oxfordshire County Council considered the plan at a recent strategy meeting.
Transport bosses wanted to add a new inbound bus lane on London Road from the Green Road roundabout to the junction with Gladstone Road.
But now they are proposing the bus lane will only run from the Green Road roundabout as far as Lyndworth Close.
Councillor Roz Smith feels the plans are a significant improvement on the initial proposal.
Ms Smith said: “The first plan has now gone and they have come back to something much more sensible.
“The county council got a lot of information from our public meeting. They now say no trees will go and we won’t lose some of the footpaths.
“They are also making improvements to the Green Road roundabout.
“But the devil is in the detail. It still has to go to a public consultation.”
The changes come after more than 100 people packed a public meeting on the scheme in December.
Residents raised concerns over plans to cut the width of the pavements on both sides of the road.
They were also worried that a cycle lane would be removed and trees cut down.
While changes are proposed, campaigners are not celebrating victory yet.
One of those to attend the meeting, London Road resident Maria Garrard, said: “I hadn’t heard about any changes. But we didn’t see any plans before the last meeting and we have been trying to get them since.”
The county council made the changes after considering the costs and benefits of the scheme.
Another change will see the existing bus stop opposite Northfield Road moved. It will be placed in line with a bus stop on the other side of the road, closer to Lyndworth Close.
Ms Garrard added: “It will definitely affect people on Lyndworth Close and around North Way if they start mucking about there. We’ll have to see.”
Inbound buses would still share the carriageway with other traffic as far as the next stop at Gladstone Road.
Limited road widening would still be needed, but only for about 20 metres to the east of Northfield Road.
County council transport bosses say the project, due to be completed in 2014, will improve access to the city centre and Headington.
The scheme is part of a wider £5m council project to boost transport links in the area.
But Ms Smith would like to see work completed sooner – particularly with the state London Road is currently in.
She added: “People would like to see a start to this work and an improvement to this terrible road surface. Do we really have to wait until 2014 for this work to start before something is done about it?”
A public consultation on the plans will be held in March.