Oxford Ring Road

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Oxford Ring Road
Woodstock Road
A34 North, A44
A4144 (Woodstock Road South), A40 West
A4165 (Banbury Road)
B4150 (Marsh Lane), Marston
A40 East, A420, Headington, (Headington Roundabout)
Kiln Lane, Beaumont Road
Horspath Driftway
Horspath Road
B480 (Garsington Road)
Sandy Lane West (Clockwise Access Only)
A4158 (Littlemore Roundabout)
A4074, Superstore
A4144 (Kennington Roundabout)
Kennington Road (Clockwise Access Only)
Abingdon Road (Anti-Clockwise Access Only)
A34 South, Hinksey Hill
South Hinksey
Westminster Way (Clockwise Access Only), North Hinksey Lane (Anti-Clockwise Access Only)
Stanley Close (Anti-Clockwise Access Only)
A420, (Botley Interchange)
Unnumbered Road to Wytham (Clockwise Access Only)

The Oxford ring road is a ring road around the city of Oxford, England. It is a dual carriageway for most of its length apart from a short section to the north between the Woodstock and Banbury Roads. The severe restrictions on traffic in Oxford city centre mean that it is the only practical way for long-distance traffic to get past Oxford, especially as there are few road bridges over the rivers Isis and Cherwell. Five Park and Rides lie on or very close to the Ring Road to further discourage driving into the city centre.

  • The western section (about 6 miles (10 km); "Southern and Western By-pass roads") is part of the A34.
  • To the north, the connection to complete the ring (under 1 mile (1.6 km) in total) includes a short section of the A40 ("Sunderland Avenue"; this is the only part that is not a dual carriageway) and a short section of the A44 ("Woodstock Road").
  • The north-eastern section (about 4 miles (6 km);"Elsfield Way; Northern By-pass Road; North Way") is part of the A40.
  • The south-eastern section (about 4 miles (6 km); "Eastern By-pass Road") is the A4142.
  • The southern section (about 1 mile (1.6 km); part of "Southern By-pass Road") is designated as the A423, something of an anomaly since the continuation of the A423 southwards was renumbered as the A4074, and the continuation northwards as far as Banbury as the A4260, when the M40 motorway was opened.


The first section of the Oxford ring road (north-eastern section) was built from Headington to Banbury Road in the mid-1930s and is now part of the A40.

In 1938 the southern part of the western section was opened from the bottom of Hinksey Hill to Botley. The road was known as the "road to nowhere" and little used at that time. In 1962 it was extended north by a new bridge over the River Thames to Wolvercote, and the whole western section then became part of the A34. It was dualled in 1973.

The south-eastern section between Headington and Rose Hill was opened in 1959. The southern section between Hinksey Hill and Heyford Hill, including the new Isis Bridge over the River Thames, was opened in 1965. The ring road was completed when the short section between Rose Hill and Heyford Hill was opened in 1966.


The ring road has suffered major problems in recent years due to increasing traffic,[1] increased traffic lights and intersections and roadworks.[2] [3]

The issues continue as housing developments are built next to the ring road. The latest traffic intersection on the Barton Park development, which opened in 2017, brings the total number of traffic light intersections on one complete circle of the ring road to 22.[4]


  1. ^ "Warning that traffic chaos in Oxford will only get worse, as 46,000 workers now commute to city". Oxford Mail.
  2. ^ "Oxford roadworks will be 'pure hell', motorists fear". BBC.
  3. ^ "Traffic jams worse than ever in Oxfordshire as businesses count cost of congestion". Oxford Mail.
  4. ^ "Barton Park Development". Headington News.

Coordinates: 51°47′04″N 1°15′02″W / 51.7844°N 1.2505°W / 51.7844; -1.2505