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Leader’s statement – Botley Road closure

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Leader of the Vale, said:

Like many, I’m disappointed with Network Rail’s news that they’re keeping Botley Road closed until October next year. The original plan had been for the road to reopen this October for six months over Christmas.

This is very frustrating for so many, access to Oxford has become a significant challenge for many in the Vale, particularly our residents in Botley and the Western Vale.

The disruption has been unfairly compounded by the work National Highways are doing at the Botley Interchange and the A34, taking place at the same time as the Network Rail improvements. This work is expected to continue until March 2024. I can fully sympathise and share everyone’s frustration having been caught in the gridlock myself last week on the way into Oxford on council business.

Whilst we can all appreciate the bigger picture of delivering improvements to the station and access at the bridge, the disruption has to be managed carefully and this is particularly unwelcome news as schools return and we head towards autumn and Christmas.

Although this work is completely out of the council’s hands, we will continue to closely monitor the progress and maintain pressure on Network Rail and National Highways to ensure that the work is completed as swiftly as possible, and the road is reopened as soon as possible for the benefit of our community.

For now, the best advice is to take care, plan ahead, follow the signs and leave extra time for any journeys around Botley. Oxfordshire County Council’s website is a very good source of information for alternative transport and public transport arrangements as well as road work updates.”