Oxford

Oxford A40 and A44 roadworks 'affecting business'

Wolvercote Roundabout Image copyright David Gould @bizcostmgt
Image caption The pace of progress at Cutteslowe and Wolvercote roundabouts has previously been branded "embarrassing"

Major roadworks at three roundabouts in Oxford that have seen long delays are affecting trade, retailers have said.

A £10m scheme at Cutteslowe and Wolvercote roundabouts on the A40 began last summer.

A lane is also closed for further works on the A44 between Wolvercote and Peartree roundabouts.

The county council said it was changing the layout of the roadworks on the A44 in a bid to alleviate problems.

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Image caption Motorists have previously described the traffic problems as "utter bedlam"

"People are just not coming into Oxford and therefore the footfall is way, way down, and without the footfall we can't survive," said Prescilla Carter, of Unique Creations ceramics studio in Summertown.

She added she was worried some customers would not return once the roadworks had finished.

Burford-based retail expert Keith Slater said trade in Summertown and Oxford city centre had been affected.

"It's very hard to quantify but some retailers I've spoken to have seen their trade drop between 5% and 10%."

Image copyright Ocfordshire County Council
Image caption Oxfordshire County Council has issued a map showing the current traffic plan at Wolvercote Roundabout

Oxfordshire highways councillor David Nimmo-Smith said the authority was working to reduce the amount of cones at Peartree Roundabout and allow two lanes of traffic to come onto the Wolvercote Roundabout, instead of one.

As the area is residential he said the council was unable to consider 24-hour working at the site, but said it was looking to bring in more staff, working longer hours.

He described the problems as "short term inconvenience" in a bid to create a "super duper new section of road" that would allow a greater capacity of traffic to flow through Oxford more quickly.

Work on the A44 is due to end in mid-October.

The A40 works are expected to finish by the end of the year.

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