The first phase of the first stage of works under the Access to Headington project started as planned on Monday 17 October. This initial work is to remodel the junction at Old Road/Warneford Lane/Roosevelt Drive/Gipsy Lane. Four-way traffic lights have been set up, manually controlled during working hours but inevitably causing significant delays to traffic in the area. I took these photos at a quiet time on Saturday 22 October.
Contractors Skanska have taken over the end of Grays Road as their site management area. The main work at the moment seems to involve excavation on the south side of Old Road to allow the road to be widened and an off-road cycle path created.
Apart from predictable delays to traffic and the No. 4 buses another impact of the work involves Oxford University’s Science Transit Shuttle service which runs between the science area in the city and the Old Road Campus. This normally runs via Morrell Avenue and Warneford Lane to Old Road. The university says that “from 31st October 2016 until such time as reliable journey times return” the service will “instead circulate via Lime Walk / Stapleton Road / London Road. The private service uses 16 seater minibuses running every 30 minutes between 7am and 7pm”. Highfield Residents’ Association is querying the use of Stapleton Road, which is narrow and has on-street parking as well as skips and tradesmen’s vans competing for space.
On the north side of Warneford Lane only a short distance from the junction an old highway stone is set against the iron railings of Cheney School grounds. Blue paint marks on the pavement pass less than a meter away. This I believe is the stone described in the Headington website as “a mileway stone near Cheney Lane dating from 1667 marking the point to which the city was responsible for the old road to London”. I hope the contractors will take care not to damage this piece of local history! [I added this picture later the same day.]