1. What are the Woodstock Road Corridor Improvements?

    Funding has been secured to deliver a package of highway improvement works along the Woodstock Road corridor. These improvements will aim to:

    • Unlock economic growth and job creation opportunities and support further housing and growth both in Oxford city centre and across the north Oxford area.
    • Deliver reliable, convenient, and free-flow bus journeys.
    • Deliver a continuous, uniform, and high-quality cycle provision.
    • Deliver a high-quality pedestrian environment with safe and convenient crossing facilities throughout.
    • Deliver a high-quality public realm. 
    • Support a shift to walking, cycling, and bus use.

    2. How much will it cost?

    The total available budget for this project is £12.5m. The project is funded by the Oxfordshire Growth Deal. Further information on the growth deal is available here: https://www.oxfordshiregrowthboard.org/housing-and-growth-deal-home/

    3. What if £12.5m isn’t enough to deliver the proposed improvements?

    The current proposals must be delivered within the £12.5m allocated budget. Detailed scheme costing/estimates will be undertaken at each stage of design with actual quotations received before construction begins. If the assessed/actual cost is higher that the allocated budget, the project team would undertake value engineering exercise to reduce the cost to fit the available budget. 

    This could mean that the project may need to be delivered in phases or some upgrades may not be accommodated. This will be determined at the next design stage and feedback from the public will be used to create a list of priorities.

    4. When does construction start and finish?

    Main construction work will be phased and is currently planned to start in Winter 2022/2023 with the anticipated completion within 12 months.

    Detailed design stage discussions with the county councils network management team will take place to programme the work. All work and associated road closures will be advertised publicly. Residents directly affected will be sent a letter, in advance of the work. Signage will be provided to guide other road users to alternative routes if closures are necessary.

    Works are likely to be undertaken in phases and the exact order and timings are yet to be confirmed.

    5. Why are the measures needed?

    Changes to the layout of the corridor are needed to encourage more people to travel by bus, or other sustainable transport options, to reduce the overall amount of traffic, vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

    An increase in users travelling along the corridor as a result of wider planned growth across north Oxford is anticipated in future years. The current arrangement of the Woodstock Road means that currently many people have a poor journey experience when using the corridor.

    6. How were the designs determined and what is Coproduction?

    The initial proposals were prepared in collaboration with representatives from key users, including walking, cycling, and neighbourhood groups, as well as bus operators and the University of Oxford. For the first time we have engaged key users at this early stage of the project, using a “Coproduction” approach. Several sessions were held between March and July 2021 to help us set objectives for the design and understand their priorities as part of the initial proposals for wider consultation.

    7. Which design standards have been followed when designing the scheme?

    The principles of Department for Transport Local Transport Note 1/20 are the key design standards utilised while developing the scheme proposal.

    8. Why don’t proposals include improvements in neighbouring residential roads?

    The scope and funding remit is to deliver improvements along the main Woodstock Road corridor only and within the highway boundary. As the majority of the travel demands are placed along the main corridor, these improvements provide the greatest opportunity to encourage a transition from car use to more sustainable travel options, such as public transport, walking and cycling. A separate consultation is due to start shortly on improvements to Banbury Road corridor.

    9. What is proposed for Banbury Road?

    Funding has also been secured for improvements along the Banbury Road corridor between the City centre (St Giles) and the A40 (Cutteslowe roundabout). Design proposals for this corridor are expected to be consulted upon in early 2022.  Objectives and scope for the Banbury Road corridor project mirror those of the Woodstock Road corridor proposals. 

    Proposals will look at measures within the highway boundary only and will not extend to adjoining residential roads in the area.  

    There are no low traffic neighbourhood proposals (LTN’s) associated with the scheme, meaning there will be no proposals for the closure of any side roads.

    10. How will the Woodstock Road proposals benefit public transport users?

    Currently cyclists using bus and vehicle lanes are considered a source of delays for buses along the corridor. New, wider and segregated cycle tracks are proposed on both sides of the Woodstock Road which will to provide a dedicated facility for cyclists.

    This new facility will not be mandatory for cyclists to use, it will provide cyclists a segregated safe corridor for completing their journeys away from other road users. A greater proportion of cyclists using the proposed facility (as opposed to bus/ vehicle lanes) is considered to help speed up buses along the corridor.

    Traffic modelling is currently being undertaken on this proposal. This will help determine the extent of improvements on journey times and reliability for buses which are also the key objectives of the project.

    To provide wider, dedicated cycle facilities, the existing bus lanes need to be removed from the majority of the corridor. There is, however, a need to consider provision for bus priority on approach to Wolvercote roundabout, which is included in the proposals. At the next stage of the design, we will be determining whether any other locations, along the corridor, are identified as being important to provide additional bus priority.

    Minor relocations of bus stops to co-ordinate with signalised crossings and optimise bus stops spacing are intended to provide further benefits for users. At the next stage of design, we will explore how existing traffic signals, along the corridor, can be re-phased to provide better priority for buses.

    Further priority measures, which will directly assist buses using the corridor are being delivered through a number of other significant projects including the A40 corridor improvements and A44 North Oxford corridors Improvement project.

    11. Will new bus shelters be provided at bus stops?

    Details about bus stops’ facilities will be provided in the next design stages. The current proposals futureproof space for bus shelters at the majority of bus stops.

    12. Why do some bus stops have shared footway/cycleway in front of the stop and not segregated cycle facilities?

    Woodstock Road corridor includes some narrow sections where the corridor width is tight and since the scheme needs to be delivered within the highway boundary, there is no additional width to accommodate segregated cycle facilities at bus stops. 

    Where cyclists interact with bus passengers, at bus stops, we have considered the following options according to space availability:

    1. Segregated bus stop bypass. This involves providing 2.5m bus stop island, 1.5-2.0m cycle track and a minimum of 2m footway. 7 bus stops along Woodstock Road have this proposed design.
    2. Shared use bus stop bypass. This involves providing 2.5m bus stop island and a minimum of 3m shared pedestrians/cyclists space on the back of the proposed bus island. 8 bus stops along Woodstock Road have this proposed design.
    3. Cycle track moved to the back of footway. This involves creating a combined footway/bus stop island with a minimum width of 2.2m and moving the cycle track to the back of the footway. 2 bus stops along Woodstock Road have this proposed design.
    4. Shared use bus stop. This involves having a shared space for pedestrians/cyclists in front of the stop with a minimum width of 3m. 2 bus stops along Woodstock Road have this proposal.

    13. How will proposals benefit pedestrians?

    The proposals involve improvements to footpaths, additional signalised crossings in some locations to serve bus stops and pedestrians’ lanes. At side road junctions, pedestrians will have either perceived priority using raised table crossings or marked priority using continuous footway treatment. Additionally, tight turning radii are proposed at side road junctions to enforce low turning speed for vehicles and reduce crossing distance. A public realm area is proposed between Observatory Street and St Bernard’s Road which will incorporate several amenities for pedestrians and cyclists. We hope that these measures will reinforce greater priority/ space for pedestrians making pedestrian journeys safer and more convenient.

    14. Will pavements be narrowed in any locations?

    Proposed footways have a typical minimum width of 2.0m throughout the majority of Woodstock Road which is sufficient for two wheelchair users to pass one another as per Department for Transport (DfT) Inclusive Mobility Guidance. However, at a few pinch points, proposed footways width fall below 2.0m to an absolute minimum width of 1.5m. This will still be sufficient for a wheelchair user and a walker to pass one another. It should be noted that the existing footway width at these pinch points is already below 2.0m, falling to 1.1m in some locations. Where space permits, the proposals are to widen the footway to a width of up to 4.0m.

    In some stretches in the existing situation, the pavement is currently shared with cyclists. Provision of a dedicated segregated cycle facility throughout the majority of the corridor would give pedestrians a dedicated space and should reduce concerns for potential conflict.

    15. Will existing signalised crossings be upgraded?

    Potential for upgrading existing signalised crossings will be investigated in the next design stage subject to budget availability. Upgrading could include providing toucan crossings suitable for cyclists and providing Intelligent Transport System (ITS) to prioritise buses.

    16. How will proposals benefit cyclists?

    Existing facilities for cyclists are inconsistent, often sub-standard and most of them are on the carriageway, shared with buses and general traffic. The new provision will greatly improve the current situation, to encourage new cyclists and cater for the anticipated increase in the number of cyclists expected along Woodstock Road. The proposals will provide new dedicated and segregated route along the vast majority of Woodstock Road, prioritising cyclists over traffic at all side roads and provide bus stop by-passes at several bus stop locations.

    17. What is the type of the cycle facility that will be used?

    We will investigate several options in the next design stage including stepped cycle track (see example below), subject to further engineering feasibility assessment and budget availability. Other options will be considered in the next design stage.

    18. What is the width of the proposed cycle tracks?

    Proposed cycle tracks have a width of 2.0m along the majority of the corridor. This width enables two cyclists to overtake each other within the cycle track. At some narrow sections, the cycle track width reduces to a minimum of 1.5m.

    19. How will the interaction between proposed cycle tracks and driveways be dealt with?

    Where possible, proposed cycle track level will be maintained where they interact with driveways to provide a smooth ride for cyclists along the corridor.

    20. Will the proposed cycle tracks be coloured along Woodstock Road?

    Details about proposed cycle tracks surfacing material and colour will be determined in the next design stages and are subject to available budget.

    21. Why does the proposal include short sections of shared use facilities adjacent to proposed cycle tracks next to some side roads?

    Woodstock Road is intersected by several side roads some of which are designated as Oxford Cycle Route (OCR) in Oxford Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan. The scheme aims to provide crossing facilities to connect opposite OCRs crossing Woodstock Road so that less confident cyclists can cross Woodstock Road without mixing with traffic. Dedicated crossing points have been provided to link opposite OCRs where possible. To link OCRs to the crossing points, shared use facilities have been provided between OCRs and the crossing points to enable cyclists to travel contra-flow of the proposed one-way cycle tracks and wait at the crossing point without interrupting cyclists travelling along Woodstock Road.

    22. Are the requirements of disabled users considered in the design?

    The scheme proposal adopts the principles of Department for Transport Inclusive Mobility Guidance to ensure that the scheme is accessible for all users. Tactile paving will be provided at all crossing points to aid visually impaired users. 

    Where there is a transition between a shared use facility and footways, appropriate hazard warning surface will be provided to convey the message ‘’hazard, proceed with caution’’. 

    At bus stops where a by-pass is provided for cyclists, a zebra crossing  is proposed across the cycle track to give bus passengers priority when moving between the proposed bus stop island and the footway. Where possible timings at signalised crossings will be adjusted to cater for disabled users’ needs.

    23. What parking is being lost and where will those affected be able to park?

    The proposals look to make amendments at two locations:

    1. A reduction in on-street, paid parking provision on the west side of Woodstock Road between Observatory Street and Green Templeton College.   
    2. Reallocation of short-stay and delivery parking spaces fronting retail units situated between Observatory Street and St Bernard’s Road.

    The new proposals recognise a significant opportunity to improve the public realm and walking environment in the areas where on-street parking is currently located.

    As part of the next stage of design we will be assessing what alternative parking is available in the area. Once this work is complete, we will then review the proposals and engage with residents and businesses affected to understand what alternatives (if necessary) need to be provided.

    24. Will proposals benefit private vehicle users?

    The county council’s transport strategy, and aims of the project, are to prioritise sustainable travel modes. While proposals will look to ensure that requirements for deliveries and access can continue, the scheme will not include any measures to improve traffic flow or capacity for general traffic.

    25. What is the minimum carriageway width along the proposed corridor?

    6.4m is the proposed two-way carriageway width along Woodstock Road to enable two buses to overtake each other comfortably. At few narrow sections, the carriageway width narrows down to 6.2m which would still enable two buses to pass each other albeit with less clearance.

    26. Are you proposing any changes to the speed limit?

    Between Wolvercote roundabout and Green Templeton College (the extents of the project) the Woodstock Road is currently 30mph. Between Green Templeton College and St Giles (area outside of the project) the speed limit is currently 20mph.  The plan proposals set out to extend the current 20mph limit to the St Bernard’s Road junction with Woodstock Road, roughly an additional 200 meters. Lower 20mph speed limits are beneficial for improving the experience of being on streets and making sustainable travel options more attractive and safer. The county council is currently actively seeking to implement a wider network of 20mph speed restrictions across the county to better reflect local requirements and aspirations. The Woodstock Road scheme will be developed consistent with latest policy.

    27. Are any trees proposed to be removed?

    We appreciate that the trees on the corridor add an important character and ecological value and should be retained where possible. The proposals highlight where we have initially identified trees which are in direct conflict with our designs.

    Further assessments will be undertaken at the next stages of design to understand more detailed information on the rooting area of the trees and their remaining life, which will help inform whether any of the trees could be removed.

    Should any trees be removed due to the scheme, the county council will plant equivalent replacement trees within the public highway around the local area, if it is not viable to plant replacement trees directly on Woodstock Road.

    28. Are there any other constraints that may affect the current design and project overall?

    The biggest and most costly constraint that can shape how the next design stage will look like are utilities. At the next stage of design, we will work closely with utilities providers to understand the scheme impact on existing utilities, its cost implication, and investigate potential mitigation options which may result in scheme proposals being updated.

    29. How will the level difference at northern end be dealt with?

    The proposals identified potential requirement for retaining walls at some locations to deal with the level differences. Details and alternative options will be investigated in the next design stage, including shared use facility as the cost of retaining walls is significant and delivery of those will be subject to available budget.

    30. How does this project complement delivery of Connecting Oxford and the wider Oxford Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ)?

    The proposals put forward in this consultation are over 90% suitable for the Connecting Oxford scenario, so very minimal adjustments would need to be made when the Connecting Oxford and ZEZ projects are concluded.

    • Further details on the Connecting Oxford proposal are available here.  
    • Details on the Zero Emission Zone are available here

    31. How does the project relate to other infrastructure works?

    There are a number of connected highway projects including the A40 Improvements,  North Oxford Corridor and independent developer schemes including Oxford North. We have been working with developers and relevant other partners to understand requirements and timescales and to coordinate design and construction work to ensure minimal disruption to residents, local business and public transport during construction.

    In addition, two separate schemes; the St Giles/ Banbury Road Quickway and the Parks Road Quietway, funded by Tranche 2 of the Active Travel Fund, are also currently being proposed by the county council. These projects will link well with the Woodstock Road project as they include improvements to the Woodstock Road and St Giles junction. The county council are already consulting on these projects, along with 7 other quickway schemes, in East Oxford.

    32. How can I ask questions or make comments on the Woodstock Road proposals?

    If you wish to make a comment on the project, please use the feedback form provided on our consultation page.

     You may also add specific comments directly on the proposals in Remix.

    The “Post comment” button will be situated on the top right-hand side of your screen. Once selected, drop the “comment pin” in the exact location of your comment to leave a specific feedback.

    Note: overall scheme comments should be left via the feedback form provided on the main consultation page. Comments on the Remix plans should only be related to specific features or design element that are of concern or if supported, as this will determine the hierarchy of most important features and those that need improvements. Alternative suggestions are welcomed.  

    Should you have any additional questions, that we have not addressed above please email WoodstockRoadCorridor@Oxfordshire.gov.uk or call the county council's Customer Services Team on 01865 792422. 

    Please note the council's Customer Services Team are unable to answer any detailed questions about the proposed schemes and would need to transfer the calls to the project team.

    33. What is Remix?

    Remix is our new online design tool, which is aimed at making it easier for the public to understand our proposals as opposed to reading the engineering drawings. 

    Plans in Remix are designed based on the original detailed engineering drawings, improved with additional images to bring the design to life.

    Please note: Remix designs are visual representations only with sufficient detail to easily understand the scheme proposal. If you wish to analyse the proposals in more detail, e.g., the exact dimensions, please refer to the engineering drawings provided in the main consultation page.

    Further updates will be made available via the county council’s project webpage including feedback on this consultation and project updates. 

    34. How will my feedback be considered and how will we find out what people have said?

    All comments received during the consultation will be considered by officers and used to inform the next phase of design.

    A summary of the outcome of this consultation will be made available online, via the county council’s project webpage and via the county councils Let’s Talk Oxfordshire online portal (https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/).

    35. Will there be other opportunity to comment on the amended proposals?

    Once feedback from the current feasibility consultation has been considered, and further design work undertaken (preliminary design), another consultation will be undertaken.