IT has taken more than 13 months and £2.5m, but roadworks on Oxford’s Iffley Road have finally finished.
Oxfordshire County Council began the work in May 2011, despite financial pressure on its highways budget, because the road was deemed to be in such a bad state of repair.
There were a series of closures along Iffley Road in different stages throughout the last year, which led to traffic queues on the road itself, and the connecting Donnington Bridge Road. Problems were reported as far back as Rose Hill.
Residents and traders along the route expressed their relief the work is over and believe the disruption has been worth it. Donnington Bridge Road resident Lok Bhusal said: “Of course there was some inconvenience, but it was absolutely necessary.
“They have done a good job.”
The Olympic Torch is due to be carried down Iffley Road, and around the running track, on Tuesday, July 10.
Aston Street resident Ben Sheldon, 44, said: “The work was really in need of doing. It was obviously temporarily inconvenient, but going into town on a bike was a nightmare.
“It is a road we can be proud of now and it will look great with the Olympic Torch going down it.”
In January 2011 when the work was approved, Iffley Road was described as one of the “most neglected” in Oxford.
Over the past year the road has been completely resurfaced between The Plain and Donnington Bridge Road, and drainage and kerbs have also been improved.
A new zebra crossing has also been created near Percy Street, while the junctions of the side road have been raised to make it easier for pedestrians to cross.
Philip Scarrott, who owns Reg Taylor Cycles in Iffley Road, said: “For my shop in particular the disruption wasn’t too bad. The road is a whole lot better now and it was worth the trouble.
“It needed to be done and Iffley Road is a much smoother surface now.”
And Mark Oliver, manager of The Magdalen Arms, said: “As far as congestion is concerned, I am pleased the roadworks, inset, are finished.
“It means staff get to work on time now, and the works made deliveries difficult, but it didn’t affect us badly at all.
“Iffley Road is much quieter now and is in a much better condition.”
The county council has said the roadworks are complete with the exception of some line painting, but spokesman Paul Smith said no decision has been taken about when this will be done.