Sewer repairs means 14 days of chaos ahead

Traffic delays on the Botley Interchange yesterday morning

Traffic delays on the Botley Interchange yesterday morning

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

OXFORD’S roads were clogged yesterday as sewer works in one street brought the city to a standstill.

And there is little prospect the situation will improve over the next fortnight.

Thames Water began a two-week £60,000 emergency project to fix a sewer damaged by a build-up of fat and waste known as a ‘fatberg’.

thisisoxfordshire:

Traffic winds its way along Botley Road towards Oxford Rail Station

Morning commuters reported huge delays as 10-minute drives turned into journeys of more than an hour and tailbacks stretched back on to the A34 to Abingdon.

A public transport worker said traffic, which was solid in Abingdon Road, Botley Road, Woodstock Road and Banbury Road, was “worse than during the floods”.

thisisoxfordshire:

The so-called ‘fatberg’ that has caused the roadworks to take place

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth last night said: “You would not think people pouring fat down their sink has caused major traffic disruption in Oxford.”

The Conservative said there was little the authority could do to ease the congestion other than urging commuters to use public transport and not to drive into Oxford all at once.

He said: “I must admit the feedback I have had is that it has been worse than expected, particularly given the notification people have had.”

Last week, Mr Hudspeth unveiled his vision for transport up to 2031 – including a monorail around the city – and last night he said the latest traffic chaos showed the county needed a “resilient” transport system.

thisisoxfordshire:

A34 slip road at Botley

The works have shut Park End Street at its junction with Hollybush Row while the partially collapsed pipe is repaired.

Dr Hannah Thompson, 41, from Marston, was two hours late for a pre-booked train to Newcastle and had to spend £115 on another ticket.

She said: “It was just completely crazy. I should have walked – it would have been much quicker.“

thisisoxfordshire:

Frideswide Square

Letting manager Kyley Dickinson, 28, was stuck on Botley Road for 35 minutes while travelling to work in Park End Street.
She said: “It just wasn’t moving at all. By McDonald’s the traffic lights were going red, green, red, green without being able to move.
“I thought that because it was half-term it would be a lot quieter but it wasn’t – it’s a bit frustrating.”
Oxford Bus Company said services were delayed for up to an hour and a half and three were cancelled.
Thames Water spokeswoman Sarah Sharpe said the repairs were essential and workers were managing the traffic flow using traffic lights.

thisisoxfordshire:


But Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, above, said: “It is a very clear illustration of just how fragile Oxford’s traffic conditions are. One road taken out of service and the city just jams up.
“It is a massive inconvenience.
Wayne Gray, manager of Fat Phil’s Angling Centre in Abingdon Road, said he did not know about the works until yesterday morning.
He said: “People are telling me it is horrendous and in all directions.”
And he said the council should consider opening up the High Street to ease the congestion.
County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said Park End Street was a “key location for the movement of traffic in Oxford”, adding: “Any disruption at such a location would result in congestion and delay increases.”
But he said the authority would not consider opening up bus lanes and lifting the High Street bus gate to help motorists because it would cause the bus services to suffer more delays.
He added: “It is the council’s experience when roadworks have taken place at a similar location that in time motorists become aware of works and seek an alternative route or alternative mode of transport into the centre of Oxford.”

 

Comments (8)

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10:57am Tue 8 Apr 14

Oxonian says...

Bob Price says "One road taken out of service and the city just jams up.".

Isn't this a good reason not to shut St Giles, as the County Council is proposing to do?
Bob Price says "One road taken out of service and the city just jams up.". Isn't this a good reason not to shut St Giles, as the County Council is proposing to do? Oxonian
  • Score: 3

3:43pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Danny3 says...

When it's known in advance that there will be road blockages, the council should do the *opposite* of opening High St. Instead they should apply the same controls that apply there to e.g. Beaumont St and/or Thames St and/or Magdalen Bridge. That way the buses can be kept moving at reasonable speeds. Car drivers can use the P+Rs - and the P+R buses could be made free for the duration of the problem.

The alternative is for *everyone*, car drivers and bus passengers, to suffer huge delays.
When it's known in advance that there will be road blockages, the council should do the *opposite* of opening High St. Instead they should apply the same controls that apply there to e.g. Beaumont St and/or Thames St and/or Magdalen Bridge. That way the buses can be kept moving at reasonable speeds. Car drivers can use the P+Rs - and the P+R buses could be made free for the duration of the problem. The alternative is for *everyone*, car drivers and bus passengers, to suffer huge delays. Danny3
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Tue 8 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

and what park & ride is there from East Oxford??? Doh
and what park & ride is there from East Oxford??? Doh HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Gunslinger says...

Danny3 wrote:
When it's known in advance that there will be road blockages, the council should do the *opposite* of opening High St. Instead they should apply the same controls that apply there to e.g. Beaumont St and/or Thames St and/or Magdalen Bridge. That way the buses can be kept moving at reasonable speeds. Car drivers can use the P+Rs - and the P+R buses could be made free for the duration of the problem.

The alternative is for *everyone*, car drivers and bus passengers, to suffer huge delays.
And what 'Park and Ride' is there for delivery trucks and other vehicles that need to come into the city centre?

As the previous contributor has said, a foretaste of things to come when Cllr Hudspeth gets his dream.
[quote][p][bold]Danny3[/bold] wrote: When it's known in advance that there will be road blockages, the council should do the *opposite* of opening High St. Instead they should apply the same controls that apply there to e.g. Beaumont St and/or Thames St and/or Magdalen Bridge. That way the buses can be kept moving at reasonable speeds. Car drivers can use the P+Rs - and the P+R buses could be made free for the duration of the problem. The alternative is for *everyone*, car drivers and bus passengers, to suffer huge delays.[/p][/quote]And what 'Park and Ride' is there for delivery trucks and other vehicles that need to come into the city centre? As the previous contributor has said, a foretaste of things to come when Cllr Hudspeth gets his dream. Gunslinger
  • Score: -2

6:01pm Tue 8 Apr 14

crafty109 says...

OPEN THE HIGH STREET FOOLS!!!! also remove all bollards from Turl street/Broad street etc...........OPEN THE CITY and traffic will flow........hope the lights by the station are turned off....that usually helps .
OPEN THE HIGH STREET FOOLS!!!! also remove all bollards from Turl street/Broad street etc...........OPEN THE CITY and traffic will flow........hope the lights by the station are turned off....that usually helps . crafty109
  • Score: -2

8:40pm Tue 8 Apr 14

King Joke says...

HomerSimpsonDoh wrote:
and what park & ride is there from East Oxford??? Doh
East Oxford? Which East Oxford are we talking about? Is it the East Oxford punctuated by buses ever few minutes along every main road East Oxford? That East Oxford? And you're still driving to the city centre years after they rest of us learned to use sustainable transport? D'oh.
[quote][p][bold]HomerSimpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: and what park & ride is there from East Oxford??? Doh[/p][/quote]East Oxford? Which East Oxford are we talking about? Is it the East Oxford punctuated by buses ever few minutes along every main road East Oxford? That East Oxford? And you're still driving to the city centre years after they rest of us learned to use sustainable transport? D'oh. King Joke
  • Score: 1

8:44pm Tue 8 Apr 14

King Joke says...

crafty109 wrote:
OPEN THE HIGH STREET FOOLS!!!! also remove all bollards from Turl street/Broad street etc...........OPEN THE CITY and traffic will flow........hope the lights by the station are turned off....that usually helps .
All these streets were open through the 90s and the traffic didn't flow... it did precisely the opposite. It should come as no surprise that if you encourage people to all converge in a busy city centre, it will become congested.
[quote][p][bold]crafty109[/bold] wrote: OPEN THE HIGH STREET FOOLS!!!! also remove all bollards from Turl street/Broad street etc...........OPEN THE CITY and traffic will flow........hope the lights by the station are turned off....that usually helps .[/p][/quote]All these streets were open through the 90s and the traffic didn't flow... it did precisely the opposite. It should come as no surprise that if you encourage people to all converge in a busy city centre, it will become congested. King Joke
  • Score: -2

8:48pm Tue 8 Apr 14

King Joke says...

Gunslinger wrote:
Danny3 wrote:
When it's known in advance that there will be road blockages, the council should do the *opposite* of opening High St. Instead they should apply the same controls that apply there to e.g. Beaumont St and/or Thames St and/or Magdalen Bridge. That way the buses can be kept moving at reasonable speeds. Car drivers can use the P+Rs - and the P+R buses could be made free for the duration of the problem.

The alternative is for *everyone*, car drivers and bus passengers, to suffer huge delays.
And what 'Park and Ride' is there for delivery trucks and other vehicles that need to come into the city centre?

As the previous contributor has said, a foretaste of things to come when Cllr Hudspeth gets his dream.
Delivery 'trucks' or lorries as they're called in this country will be greatly outnumbered by selfish people in singly-occupied cars in any traffic jam.

I have every sympathy with delivery drivers, along with postal drivers, bus drivers and their passengers. They are all being put upon by those who refuse to change their habits even when the road network is being seriously compromised as this week.
[quote][p][bold]Gunslinger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Danny3[/bold] wrote: When it's known in advance that there will be road blockages, the council should do the *opposite* of opening High St. Instead they should apply the same controls that apply there to e.g. Beaumont St and/or Thames St and/or Magdalen Bridge. That way the buses can be kept moving at reasonable speeds. Car drivers can use the P+Rs - and the P+R buses could be made free for the duration of the problem. The alternative is for *everyone*, car drivers and bus passengers, to suffer huge delays.[/p][/quote]And what 'Park and Ride' is there for delivery trucks and other vehicles that need to come into the city centre? As the previous contributor has said, a foretaste of things to come when Cllr Hudspeth gets his dream.[/p][/quote]Delivery 'trucks' or lorries as they're called in this country will be greatly outnumbered by selfish people in singly-occupied cars in any traffic jam. I have every sympathy with delivery drivers, along with postal drivers, bus drivers and their passengers. They are all being put upon by those who refuse to change their habits even when the road network is being seriously compromised as this week. King Joke
  • Score: 2

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