THE closure of part of a major route through Oxfordshire for seven weeks should be welcomed, it has been claimed.

The A420 at Shrivenham has been declared as “worn-out” and “in need of repair” by Oxfordshire County Council.

For resurfacing work to begin, the road will be shut between the Watchfield Roundabout and the Lower Bourton junction from July 21.

Mayor of Faringdon David Price has welcomed the work.

He said: “The road is in such bad shape that we would welcome the improvements.

“It will be a bit of a roundabout trip to get to Swindon and that will cause commuters some aggravation, but I am hopeful people will avoid the area during the work.

“And if it does actually mean that the trucks start using the M4 then we would be happy about it.”

The council has said it will introduce measures to stop through traffic using unsuitable local roads, but has not said what these are. During the work, it recommends those going to Swindon use the A34 and M4 while local traffic uses the A417 east, A4185 south, A34 south and M4 west.

Some residents have expressed worries over the knock-on effect of the repair work.

George Platt, golf course manager at Shrivenham Park Golf Course, said: “It is difficult to say how much it is going to affect us but it will have an effect.

“People can still get to us through the village but it will take a lot longer to get here and that could have a knock-on effect as people don’t like queuing.

“Then there’s the food deliveries and supplies for the golf course itself, and some of them come on quite big trucks.”

Oxfordshire County Council said: “Although the works will result in disruption, they are essential and should mean that no major road reconstruction will be required on this stretch of road for many years to come.

“The works are necessary in order to reconstruct the road and consists of carriageway reconstruction, improvement and repair to some of the highway drainage and replacement of the existing safety barrier.”

The road is expected to remain closed until mid-August.

The county council is working on a safety plan for the A420 with district councils.

Earlier this month a Swindon man died in a crash on the road near Faringdon, and a 12-year-old boy, from Southmoor, died after an accident on his bike on the A420 near Southmoor.