HIGHWAYS managers have pledged to do everything they can to keep traffic flowing after the first day’s work to redesign a busy city junction caused major hold-ups.

Work is under way at the Worcester Street junction in Oxford to provide a new layout making it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the road.

The ‘crossroad’ layout in place since 2014 is being replaced with separated streams of traffic.

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The work, costing £210,000 and lasting seven weeks, caused delays up to an hour for drivers on their morning commute yesterday, with traffic tailing back the length of Botley Road.

Traffic was at a standstill in St Giles and Beaumont Street mid-morning as vehicles queued for temporary traffic lights controlling one lane at the Worcester Street junction.

READ AGAIN: Safer for cyclists - new £210,000 junction in Oxford

The county council’s own online travel alerts service OxonTravel warned drivers: “Very long delays on the #A420 from #Cumnor and continuous along the #BotleyRoad due to works to re-model the #GeorgeStreet /#WorcesterStreet junction in #Oxford city centre. Find an alternative route if at all possible.”

thisisoxfordshire:

Yesterday the council said it hoped to make adjustments to cut the time drivers would be stuck.

It added there were alternative routes many drivers on Botley Road could use but did not specify what they were.

READ AGAIN: Traffic on A420 and Botley Road

Spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “The county council is investing £210,000 in a project designed to improve safety for the increased pedestrian, cycle and public transport movements between the station and city centre, as a result of major development sites such as Westgate, Oxpens and Osney Mead.

thisisoxfordshire:

“The temporary traffic lights are being manually controlled so that we can let through as much traffic as possible.

“Due to the complexity of the junction, and the need to cater for pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles, we need to keep crossings active so that those users can also get through the work safely and this adds to the amount of time it takes to change lights from red to green.

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“The first day of any project like this always has an impact on traffic, even when signs have been up well in advance. Our team is looking closely at how the lights have operated on day one and will make any changes possible to improve traffic flows as far as we can.”

thisisoxfordshire:

Mr Crabtree said ‘spotters’ would be on site during peak hours - 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm.

He added: “We will continue to monitor the situation as works progress.

thisisoxfordshire:

"There will be alternative routes that many people using Botley Road could take to reach their destination and we hope that this, and changes to the traffic signals, will improve matters in the coming days.”

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Dr Alison Hill, chairwoman of cycling campaign group Cyclox, earlier welcomed the changes.

She said: “At the moment it’s unsafe for cyclists going from Hythe Bridge Street to George Street.