TRADERS and residents in Frideswide Square have raised concerns about diversion plans during the redevelopment of the busy road junction.

It means major changes to other roads in the area including a mini- roundabout in Oxpens Road and parking restrictions lifted.

Oxfordshire County Council has drawn up plans for how drivers will get from West Oxford into the city centre while the major junction outside the railway station is revamped later this year.

But businesses are concerned about the upheaval it could cause their livelihoods.

Amanda Suliman-Bell, who has run the Rainbow and Spoon boutique in Frideswide Square for 16 years and lives above the shop, said she is concerned about the survival of her business.

She said: “What they are proposing doesn’t look like a workable plan. They are removing loading bays in the area and there are restaurants here. They have a lot of deliveries that take a while to unload. I don’t know if people are going to be able to access our shop.

“These might be petty things to the county council but it is our livelihood.”

Manager of newagents Oxford Market, Musa Yasin, said: “It is very hard because it may affect our business and if there is no way for people to come here we will have to shut.”

The £5.5m plans will involve creating a large roundabout outside the station, along with two mini-roundabouts at the other end of the square in front of the Royal Oxford Hotel.

A series of public open spaces will be created on three sides of the square, which is named after Oxford’s patron saint.

The junction of Worcester Street, Hythe Bridge Street and George Street will become a four-way junction with traffic lights and four sets of pedestrian crossings.

A new mini-roundabout will be created where Hollybush Row meets Osney Lane and Oxpens Road.

Beckett Street will be opened to two-way traffic with parking bays in the street moved to Osney Lane and St Thomas Street.

The changes will be introduced in the winter to allow the Frideswide Square work to happen, but the county council has said they will become permanent once the work is complete.

Other changes include:

  • No entry restriction from Botley Road and Park End Street into Beckett Street will be removed.
  • No entry from Worcester Street southbound into George Street and Worcester Street south will be removed, as will the no entry from Worcester Street northbound into Hythe Bridge Street
  • There will be no entry from Park End Street or Worcester Street into New Road (except for buses, bikes and access)
  • Left turn only from Beckett Street into Botley Road will be removed
  • Left turn only from George Street into Worcester Street and vice versa will be removed
  • Right turn only from Worcester Street north into Hythe Bridge Street will be removed
  • A mini roundabout will be created where Hollybush Row meets Oxpens Road and Osney Lane
  • The Beckett Street cycle lane will be removed
  • The ban on loading in George Street, Hythe Bridge Street and Worcester Street will be extended in length

Pee Hussain, a 34-year-old taxi driver, said: “I don’t know what other option the council has.”

It is expected the redesign of the square will take around a year.

Council spokesman Paul Smith said: “County council officers visited Frideswide Square (last week) to hold discussions with traders.

“More dialogue will take place and traders are free to contact us to raise any points they have. In any roadworks scheme we’re conscious of the concerns businesses have and seek to liaise with them before work starts.”

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