No pain, no gain? Oxford bus services face 15 months of disruption

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Stagecoach has staff on hand to assist drivers and passengers. Passengers have a lengthy 500m walk towards the city. RICHARD SHARMAN

The delayed and much anticipated closure of one of Oxford’s main arterial roads to allow for a new railway bridge to be built has commenced, with significant changes required to the bus network during the work. Richard Sharman finds out more

As part of a £161 million station and railway upgrade, Botley Road in Oxford – a main artery into and out of the city – was temporarily closed at the point the rail bridge crosses the road near Oxford station on 11 April, and will remain so until the end of October to enable station and track improvements and highways redevelopment. The delayed closure is part of a two-phase project to improve the station and highway and which promises to bring several other benefits. The second phase of the project will see Botley Road closed again from March to October 2024 for bridge replacement and highway work.

Botley Road bridge

The programme for these improves has been named Oxfordshire Connect by Network Rail. It requires the replacement of the current bridge under the railway at Botley Road, so that an additional railway line can be added into the station, and also to allow buses, cyclists and pedestrians to more easily access the city centre. Before the bridge is physically replaced in phase two next year, 11 different utility services need to divert their infrastructure under the bridge and other additional enabling work is needed, which forms part of phase one.


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