Updated 20 September 2023
Network Rail has announced that the road underneath Botley Road Bridge in Oxford will remain closed until October 2024 after several unexpected challenges delayed the project this summer.
The road was due to open next month, with a further six-month closure planned from March 2024 to October 2024.
While the project switched to 24-hour working in August, the programme remains very challenging. Despite round-the-clock work, the delays encountered now mean that Botley Road cannot reopen this October.
The new bridge will bring several benefits, including a four-metre cycle and footpath added on each side of the road beneath it to increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
For information on the project, please go to networkrail.co.uk/oxfordshireconnect or for the latest highways information, www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/.
Impact on travel
The closure is expected to increase traffic across Oxford – both on the Botley Road, as well as on other main routes into the city, such as Woodstock and Banbury Roads.
Those who normally drive into Oxford along the Botley Road will need to find alternative routes or park outside the affected area and finish their journeys by other means. Seacourt Park and Ride are closest as it is located on Botley Road.
A34 Botley Interchange essential bridge repairs
The A420 over the Botley interchange will be closed on weeknights from Monday, 2 to 9 October and then again between Monday, 16 and Monday, 30 October (including weekends). For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.nationalhighways.co.uk/a34botley.
National Highways has installed traffic management around the A34 Botley Interchange with narrow roads, lane closures, and reduced speed limits in place 24/7 to protect those carrying out the work and the public. During the work, there will be periods of overnight closures affecting journeys between the A34 and A420. The one-way section of Seacourt Lane will also remain closed.
Programme of work
- Monday 18 to Friday 29 September – the A34 underneath the Botley interchange will be closed on weeknights between 9pm and 6am
- Monday 2 to Monday 9 October – the A420 over the Botley interchange will be closed on weeknights between 9pm and 6am.
- Tuesday 17 October to Friday 3 November – the A34 underneath the Botley interchange will be closed on weeknights between 9pm and 6am
For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.nationalhighways.co.uk/a34botley.
Buses will continue serving Botley Road but terminate at the railway bridge. If you need to continue your journey, you will need to get off, walk under the bridge and catch a new bus.
The Oxford Bus Company has already published information on changes to services during the closure. Stagecoach has also published information on changes to service.
Did you know?
The government announced a £2 cap on single bus fares from January until 31 October 2023, and from 1 November 2023, the bus fare cap will change to £2.50 for single tickets. This cap will last until 30 November 2024.
Between 11 April and the end of October: the railway station will be open throughout the works, with rail services operating normally unless otherwise advertised.
Oxford Station Closures
One-day closures will also affect train services in the Oxford area on the following days:
Visit Upgrading the Railway in the Oxford Area for details on bus replacement services.
Impact on staff and students
The closure of the bridge is like to add to journey times considerably. This means all staff and students will need to make allowances when planning their journeys into the University.
Working arrangements for staff
In light of public transport, pedestrian and cycling access being maintained, as far as possible, you will be expected to continue with your current pattern of work. However, if you face disruption, you may wish to speak to your line manager or supervisor about whether flexible arrangements may be implemented.
Impact on students
Students should factor in changes to travel arrangements into their travel arrangements. Please note that the closure of the bridge will not be considered as a reason for student residency dispensation.
Alternative ways of travelling
Walking or cycling
Not everyone can switch to walking or cycling, but if this is an option for you, the University’s Travel site has lots of information on the help that’s available to staff and students who want to get cycling, including free training, advice on safety and security, and a salary sacrifice scheme to make a new bike more affordable.
Park and pedal
The City Council’s Park & Pedal facilities at Seacourt and Redbridge may be an option for some people, as may the University’s own Park & Pedal/Park & Stride service at Osney Mead. Secure cycle parking is available for all staff, and a limited number of peak parking spaces are available.