New roundabout offers way ahead for Bicester Garden Town

Plans for a new roundabout to the south-east of Bicester have been approved, unlocking land for three thousand more homes under the Garden Town project.

Published: Monday, 9th November 2020

Councillors approved the project on its second appearance at planning committee, after previously asking for clarity that the designs were safe. On Thursday’s meeting (5 November), Oxfordshire County Council’s highways officers addressed these concerns, confirming the designs complied with Department for Transport guidelines for the current speed limit and expected traffic volumes.

Councillor Colin Clarke, Lead Member for Planning, said: “The decision to approve a new roundabout on the A41 represents sound infrastructure planning. The committee has considered representations received and listened to experts who have taken the time to explain the intricacies of the designs, as well as the existing guidance to ensure the roundabout is safe for all users.”

The decision clears the way for a four-armed roundabout to be installed at the junction of Pioneer Road and the Aylesbury Road (A41). The northern arm will provide access for the future growth of Bicester 12 or the Wretchwick Green development. The southern arm would tie into the proposed employment access road serving Bicester 2 or Graven Hill. The eastern and western arms will continue to serve the existing Bicester to Aylesbury road.

Cllr Clarke continued: “These improvements support Cherwell’s Local Plan, providing opportunity for housing growth to the south-east of Bicester and Graven Hill, as well as planning for access to potential new employment locations in the area. By implementing these changes early on, it will limit the disruption caused to existing residents and road users, while providing safe access for our new communities to grow.” 

Some further improvements have also been made to the designs, including the widening of the pathway to separate cyclists and pedestrians, providing sufficient space for them to wait to cross.

While the application proposes a reduction to 40mph between the Rodney House Roundabout and the new junction, this will be subject of a traffic regulation order by Oxfordshire County Council, with the opportunity for further public consultation. As this is not an item to consider at planning, the proposals have been designed to be the most appropriate for existing and expected highway conditions including traffic speed.