New road consultation begins to ease Aylesbury traffic woe

Mark Shaw and Paul Irwin with the proposed layout plan
Mark Shaw and Paul Irwin with the proposed layout plan

Consultation on a £2.69 million improvement plan that aims to ease congestion and improve journey time reliability on a busy stretch of Oxford Road, Aylesbury, starts today.

The scheme, covering the section from Coldharbour Way roundabout to the roundabout at the junction with Friarage Road, includes:

-Junction improvements

-Pedestrian crossing upgrades

-'Smart' traffic lights that adapt to traffic flows

-New stretches of cycleway and footway

-Real time passenger information

-New double-length bus shelter outside Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School

People will be asked for their feedback on the proposals in a public consultation www.buckscc.gov.uk/A418OxfordRoad that runs from Wednesday 10 July to Friday 9 August. A public exhibition will be held at Aylesbury College on Thursday 18 July.

A major part of the scheme involves widening the junction approaches in Fowler Road and Churchill Avenue, to allow more traffic to turn into Oxford Road more quickly at peak times, and to create a smoother traffic flow along Oxford Road. This arrangement will give Fowler Road and Churchill Avenue longer two-lane approaches.

A new staggered pedestrian crossing is planned on the Gatehouse Road arm of the Friarage Road roundabout to reduce hold-ups and tailbacks at the junction.

New sections of shared footway and cycleway will improve links to Aylesbury's Gemstone cycle routes. Ruby Way and Pearl Way routes will be joined between Mill Way and Gatehouse Road, while Pearl Way and Pebble Way routes will link by Pearson Close.

New technology will manage traffic lights at junctions and pedestrian crossings so that they work in harmony and are responsive to traffic flows.

Included in this upgrade is a proposal for part-time traffic lights outside Aylesbury College and Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School for vehicles exiting on to the mini-roundabout. This would provide more regular gaps in Oxford Road traffic and is expected to result in a smoother traffic flow.

Subject to the consultation, construction work on the junctions is scheduled to start in the autumn, and preparation works for technology improvements will be carried out later in the summer.

Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, said Oxford Road was an important route into and out of Aylesbury, which attracted a high volume of traffic, causing congestion and delay at peak times.

"None of us likes to sit in traffic jams, unsure about when we'll arrive," said Mark. "The aim of this scheme is to improve the reliability of journey times by reducing congestion and delay. That's got to be good for residents, businesses and commuters alike. I'm delighted our scheme will encourage cycling and walking, and I hope it will make a contribution to improving air quality."

The scheme budget is made up of a £2.191m bid from the Government's National Productivity Investment Fund, and developer funding of £500,000.

Details of the scheme can be found at www.buckscc.gov.uk/A418OxfordRoad where a link to the consultation will appear from Wednesday 10 July.