A HUGE roadworks scheme along Botley Road will begin later this month.

The scheme will begin on July 14.

It was originally due to kick off on May 26, but was delayed because of a 'thorough review of working arrangements' in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The works will take place in phases, with the first being done in a 250m stretch between the entrance to Seacourt Park and Ride and the city centre.

The other five phases of work to take place will be: at the Westminster Way junction; the A34/A420 junction; between Lamarsh Road and Prestwich place; Prestwich Place to Binsey Lane; Eynsham Road to Poplar Road.

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The £9.1m project is hoped to reduce traffic queues on the road, which saw long tailbacks last year due to previous roadworks.

All of the work is focussed around making Botley Road better for pedestrians, cyclists and people riding the bus.

Liam Walker, the county council's cabinet member for highway delivery and operation, said: “Active travel is right at the top of the county council’s agenda and the work on Botley Road will contribute to our long-term vision of a county where more and more people are able to use sustainable modes of transport."

He added: “The aim of the work is ultimately to make travelling in and out of Oxford along the Botley Road better, but in the short term the work may cause some inconvenience.

“We will keep the site under review to ensure that work continues to progress safely at all times.”

A county council spokesman explained the reason the works had been delayed from May.

He said: “Work on the project had originally been expected to start earlier in the year, but a thorough review of working arrangements in relation to COVID-19 and utility diversions has meant a delay of a few weeks.”

Oxfordshire County Council has longer term goals for the roadworks as well.

It hopes the new road layout will boost economic growth and job creation by giving better access to sites for housing and business in Oxford city centre, Botley and along the A420.

It is also preparing Botley Road for the introduction of smart technology, laying the groundwork for upcoming trials of self-driving cars, which are also known as Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

In May, businesses and residents along Botley Road were sent letters explaining the works and the stages in which they would happen.

At the time, shopkeepers shared concerns about financial troubles which could be caused by the roadworks.

READ AGAIN about the shopkeepers concerns here

Oxfordshire County Council has a £32m budget for road maintenance works across the county this year.