A418 Oxford Road corridor improvements
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From week commencing 9th December 2019, the next stage of works will start at the Fowler Road junction, comprising:
- Site compound, new shared use footway/cycleway between Fowler Road and Oxford Road, and
- Widening of Fowler Road to provide an extended left turn lane into Oxford Road
Temporary Traffic Management
The works will be carried out in three phases, for a total of 15 weeks; the first phase will start on Monday 9th December 2019 for 2 weeks (from 9th – 20th December 2019) involving setting up of the site compound and construction of the new footway/cycleway. These works will be undertaken with minimal traffic impact, using predominantly daytime footway closures, between 8am and 5pm.
The second phase of works required to widen Fowler Road is scheduled to commence on Monday 6 January 2020 for 10 weeks under a combination of narrow lanes where safe to do so and 2 or 3 way temporary traffic lights where necessary to ensure public and workforce safety. These works will be undertaken during off peak times between 9.30am and 3.30pm to minimise traffic delays.
The third phase of work will be undertaken at night for the final week of works in early March, with the road closed between 8pm and 6am for resurfacing and lane markings. More information on this phase of works will be provided nearer the time.
We will of course seek to minimise local disruption and apologise in advance for any inconvenience that these works may cause. After Christmas, Variable Message Signs will be used to inform motorists of planned works, dates and duration of works and any expected delays. Posts on Twitter and Facebook are being published regularly to keep members of the public up to date and informed of works.
Following the public consultation that was carried out in the summer a Cabinet Member decision was taken at the beginning of November to approve the implementation of a combination of local junction improvements, sustainable transport improvements and the introduction of new technology to allow smarter management of the corridor.
Work has been underway since 2017 to introduce a number of the corridor improvements to realise the benefits as soon as possible. This has comprised installation and preparatory works for a number of new corridor technologies including:
- Installation of chamber, ducting, and loop boxes; carriageway duct crossing across A418 (Mill Lane – pedestrian crossing and west side of Friarage Road).
- Installation of chamber, ducting, and carriageway loop boxes on the south side footway of A418 Oxford Rd – North East of A41 Gatehouse Road.
To help improve traffic flow and ease congestion, a number of junction upgrades and cycleway improvements are also proposed along the A418 Oxford Road Corridor, comprising:
- A418/ Fowler Road/ Churchill Avenue crossroads – Carriageway widening, improved signal timings and construction of a new shared use footway and cycleway.
- Pearson Close/ Thame Road South cycleway connectivity – Construction of a new shared use footway and cycleway to link into the existing Gemstones routes, Improvements to uncontrolled crossing facilities, including new signs and tactile paving.
- Upgraded and linked traffic signal equipment at junctions and crossings, allowing signal timings to better adapt to traffic flows and pedestrian demand.
- Upgraded permanent Variable Message Signs (VMS) to provide information to road users, such as network traffic conditions, road closures and parking space availability.
- Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to monitor traffic flows and help manage incidents.
- Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) units at bus stops, providing up-to-date transport information.
- An upgraded bus shelter outside Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School and Aylesbury College.
About the project
The A418 Oxford Road currently supports a high volume of daily traffic. The traffic causes congestion, particularly during peak times. This congestion is set to worsen as vehicle numbers increase in the future.
This project seeks to deliver a coordinated package of improvements to the corridor which will deliver the main objectives of the project to:
- improve journey time reliability
- ease congestion
- encourage increased sustainable travel
- improve air quality
Buckinghamshire County Council submitted a funding bid to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF). The funding is to help tackle existing congestion problems, unlock housing, and enable economic growth.
The total budget for the scheme is £2.69M comprising:
- successful NPIF bid of £2.191M
- developer funding of £500,000
The installation of new technology will allow better management of traffic flows. It will also assist in the management of traffic during incidents on the network from the Council’s central control centre.
The technology improvements will include:
- Upgrading traffic signal equipment at junctions and crossings, allowing signal timings to better adapt to traffic flows and pedestrian demand.
- Linking traffic signals along the Oxford Road to allow control of flows on the corridor
- Traffic detectors installed in the road to sense traffic flows and queues, allowing traffic signals to adapt to the traffic conditions.
- CCTV (closed circuit television) improving safety, monitoring traffic flows and providing information to help manage incidents.
- Variable message signs (VMS) providing information to road users, such as queue times, road closures and parking space availability.
Junctions and cycleways
- Construction of a new shared use footway and cycleway between the Pearl Way and Pebble Way existing Gemstone routes at the A418/ Ellen Road roundabout. This will include improvements to uncontrolled crossing facilities, new signs and tactile paving, and refreshed cycleway and footway surfaces.
- Capacity improvements through the widening of two arms of the junction and improved signal timings.
- Extension to the left-hand filter lane from Fowler Road into Oxford Road (eastbound) through carriageway widening from 14m to 90m.
- Extension of the two lane approach to the junction from Churchill Avenue from 15m to 120m through carriageway widening.
- Construction of a shared use footway and cycleway extension to the existing Pearl Way route to create a more direct path from Fowler Road to Oxford Road.
- Introduction of a traffic island to prevent coaches and buses turning right out of the coach park onto the A418.
- Installation of part-time traffic signals on the exit of the School/ College site to help reduce the queuing on Oxford Road caused by right turning traffic exiting from the school by helping to create gaps when vehicles are held at the signal.
- Changing the existing toucan crossing on the A41 Gatehouse Road into a staggered crossing with an island so that the traffic lights for both lanes work on separate signals and reduce the time that vehicles need to wait. This requires the relocation of seven residential parking bays on A41 Gatehouse Road.
- An unused section of bus lane on the approach to the roundabout will be removed, as well as the removal of a bus stop to improve access for buses into the roundabout.
- New section of shared use footway and cycleway to link the Pearl Way and Ruby Way routes.
- This work will be complemented by technology improvement to link and co-ordinate the traffic signals at the roundabout to help to create gaps and improve the flow of traffic. The signals at the Mill Way and Territorial Army (TA) Centre pedestrian crossings will be upgraded and linked.
The A418 Oxford Road is an existing Public Priority Transport Corridor with a dedicated inbound bus lane. By easing congestion, the project will reduce delays and speed up bus journey times.
There will be improvements to bus stops along the route, including:
- a new bus shelter
- installation of real-time passenger information units providing up to date scheduling information
A consultation period was open from Wednesday 10 July 2019 to Friday 9 August 2019. Plans for the junction and cycleway proposals were shared with the public. This includes an overview of the coordinated package of improvements along the road.
A public exhibition event was held on Thursday 18 July, 2pm to 8pm at the Aylesbury Campus of the Bucks College Group. Following this consultation, responses were summarised in a report to the Cabinet Member for a decision to proceed with the project. A Cabinet Member decision was taken on 4 November 2019 to approve the implementation of a combination of:
- local junction improvements
- sustainable transport improvements
- introduction of new technology to allow smarter management of the corridor