London Road and Headington Roundabout bus lanes

In two earlier posts here and here I wrote about the County Council’s initial proposals for what was going to be the third phase of improvements to the London Road, covering the stretch from Bury Knowle park to the A40 Green Road roundabout.

Following public consultation and general unhappiness with the proposals, and presumably under pressure to come up with as cheap a scheme as possible, the County has now put revised plans out to consultation. The consultation is announced and the scheme briefly described on the County’s website here. Comments need to be submitted by Thursday 25 July.

I have abbreviated the Council’s announcement as follows:

Several difference [sic] options have been considered but have been rejected either because of the small benefit to bus users, the cost of the works, the impact on footways and cycle facilities or the opposition of local residents.

The new scheme addresses these issues. The main elements are:

  • short length of new bus lane on the A40 right up to the roundabout,
  • short length of road widening on the London Road near the roundabout,
  • moving the first inbound bus stop closer to the roundabout,
  • lengthening the last outbound bus stop on the London Road.

This scheme has significant advantages over the earlier options:

  • large savings in journey times for inbound buses and coaches,
  • cheaper,
  • avoids losing the cycleway on the north side footway and minimises the impact on trees,
  • traffic is able to pass buses waiting at the relocated first inbound bus stop.

Both the new inbound bus stop and the extended outbound bus stop will be made long enough to hold two buses and will be designated as Bus Stop Clearways. This means that general traffic should not be parked at the bus stops and buses will be able to pull up against the kerb.

This project forms part of a wider package of measures to improve transport choices along this route, including the Thornhill P&R expansion, the Oxonbike cycle hire scheme and a new bus service linking Headington’s hospitals with Water Eaton and Thornhill, due to begin in late September.

Once approved, construction should take place between January and June 2014. This should be followed immediately by the reconstruction of the existing inbound bus lane between Gladstone Road and Wharton Road. A strategy for maintenance of the remaining lengths of London Road is currently being reviewed.

The technical drawing showing the proposed changes is available from the County’s website and I have copied it here. If like me you find it difficult to analyse papers like this on a computer screen you will be interested to know that there will be a drop-in consultation from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday 18th July at Headington Quarry Village Hall (Jubilee Room – entrance in Margaret Road). County officers will be there to explain the scheme and take your comments.