A £3M improvements package for the High Street, Oxford, should be put on hold say campaigners, following proposals to cut bus numbers by half.

Oxfordshire County Council has drawn up costly plans to resurface the road, which is damaged under the weight of about 2,500 buses a day.

But High Street traders and colleges say that the plan should be suspended to allow a more ambitious scheme to be developed, in the aftermath of County Hall's plans to pedestrianise much of the city centre.

The High Priority campaign group says "piecemeal plans" to repair the carriageway should be urgently reviewed.

And the group challenged Oxfordshire County Council to live up to expectations sparked by its newly-launched Transform Oxford Plan to make the city centre more pedestrian-friendly.

Jeremy Mogford, one of the founders of High Priority, said County Hall should merely patch up the worst damaged sections of the road, while plans for major restoration, including wider pavements, were drawn up.

The association says the improvements could be modelled on the much admired scheme undertaken at Kensington High Street in London.

Mr Mogford said: "We welcome the 'Transform Oxford' ideas.

"But our concern is that proposals for the central section of the High Street are being progressed without sufficient thought to the international heritage status of the street and needs of the local colleges, businesses, residents and visitors.

"In the context of the declared aspiration to reduce the impact of buses in the High, it seems very odd to base the current design on creating more space for bus manoeuvres at the expense of improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists and better communal use."

Graham Jones, secretary of the group set up to oppose what it called "the systematic vandalism of Oxford High Street", said: "We want to see a High Street of which we can all be proud and we are prepared to wait two to three years for that to happen, rather than public money being spent too early on a half-measure scheme that satisfies no one."

But he recognised some "minimal works" would have to be spent on the carriageway to ensure safety.

The county council's head of transport, Steve Howell, said: "We are certainly open to listening to what Mr Mogford and the High Street traders have to say.

"There is no doubt that at least a fair amount of work will have to be done to keep the High Street up to standard.

"We're currently considering this carefully and will need to make a decision shortly about what should happen on the High in the short to medium term."

A £7m cut in Government funding, announced in the summer, meant county council plans to repave the High with York stone were abandoned, with the proposed work largely limited to resurfacing the carriageway.

Last week, the council said it hoped to reduce bus numbers by ferrying people through the city centre in giant 'super buses', picking up passengers at a new terminus near Magdalen Bridge or South Park.

But the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the city council, David Rundle, warned that his group would oppose the plan because it threatened to "split the city".

Mr Rundle said: "We want to see the complete pedestrianisation of Queen Street. Some of the ideas proposed by the county council are not new."

But he said that he feared the county council had not thought through the radical idea of passengers coming into Oxford from the east having to transfer on to giant vehicles.

He said: "We would oppose anything that cuts the city in two. A lot of the county council's proposals to transform Oxford seem to be more fanfare than substance."