A £9.1 million project aiming to cut congestion on Botley Road is due to start today.

Cycle lanes and pavements will be widened and bus stops improved during the works.

It is part of an Oxfordshire County Council scheme to make the frequently-gridlocked route easier to use.

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Works will begin this week at the west end of the road outside the entrance to Seacourt Park and Ride.

The first phase of the project will cover a 250 metre stretch between the park and ride and city centre.

Some road will be re-tarmacked and some traffic lights replaced.

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After this portion of the project is complete, five more phases will take place at the Westminster Way junction; the A34/A420 junction; between Lamarsh Road and Prestwich place; Prestwich Place to Binsey Lane, and Eynsham Road to Poplar Road.

The council, which ran a consultation on the proposed scheme last year, said it hoped to cut queues.

Improvements for cyclists, it said, would include 'changes to several junctions, notably changing the layout of junctions to encourage a reduction in the speed of vehicles using them, and providing additional cycle lanes to give a clearly marked space for cyclists'.

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The council also said it would create 'more consistent and improved pedestrian provision, including additional crossings'.

The project aims to encourage greater use of more sustainable modes of transport - buses, cycling and walking – ease congestion, reduce bus journey times so buses have an advantage over general traffic, provide a safer, more attractive route for cyclists and pedestrians, and cut emissions and improve air quality.

The council said the scheme could also 'unlock economic growth and job creation opportunities' by giving development sites improved access.