Proposals to alter the four-exit Banbury Road roundabout to the north of Bicester were put forward to cater for more vehicles at busy times and have also been tweaked to improve provision for cyclists and pedestrians.
A county council report said the junction of the A4095 and B4100 “has functioned efficiently until recently but can now become over capacity during peak hours as the growth of the town increases traffic movement around the ring road, especially along the A4095 from the west”.
A signalled crossroad, segregated two-way cycle track and a straight-across pedestrian and cycling crossing are included with the current shared footway and cycleway on the eastern side of the B4100 to be widened.
The project is estimated to cost £6.6million with funding set to be sourced from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Councillor Duncan Enright (Lab, Witney North & East), the county’s cabinet member for travel and development strategy, said: “There has been significant work done here as part of the growth of Bicester.
“I am pleased to say the amendments made to this roundabout scheme, with the help of my cabinet colleagues, have rendered it as good as it can be.”
Councillor Tim Bearder (Lib Dem, Wheatley), cabinet member for highway management added that relevant council departments “would like to go further in some instances” but acknowledged “this is the best we can achieve with the current scheme”.
There were many expressions of gratitude for the council officers who had worked on amending the proposals to better cater for more active travel.
Councillor Calum Miller (Lib Dem, Otmoor) commented: “We are going through a transition towards an approach to planning these large pieces of infrastructure which put active travel first.
“I am very grateful to the cabinet members who are leading that but also to the officers who are adapting to it.
“In many respects the conversations with Bicester BUG (Bike Users’ Group) were retrospectively inserting much improved active travel measures to a previous scheme. I am very pleased that the course of that dialogue has helped to clarify the ways we will improve that going forward to ensure new proposals only come forward when we know they are compliant with policies we have recently adopted.”
County council leader Councillor Liz Leffman (Lib Dem, Charlbury & Wychwood) said: “It is a very good example of how we can change things in line with our priorities.”
The county's cabinet sanctioned moving ahead with the agreed design of the project and to acquire land through compulsory purchase orders if necessary.
Detailed designs are scheduled to be completed in March 2022 with work starting in April and a target completion date of February 2023.