ALMOST a year ago, subsidence caused a huge crack in the A4183 Oxford Road between Abingdon and Oxford and the key route has been closed ever since.

Once the county council decided work was ready to start, progress has been steady and drivers and businesses will be relieved that the road is expected to be reopened before Christmas.

It has taken a year, but the repair scheme, costing about £1m, has featured complex civil engineering techniques, and drivers should expect a smooth ride into work once the road is reopened.

The closure has been a major inconvenience for drivers in the area, and has shifted extra traffic through Kennington village and on to the A34, which is already heavily congested.

There will be one or two drivers, who through trial and error over the past 12 months, have found a more satisfying, if not more direct, route into work and they may never return to the A4183.

But for thousands of other commuters, and for people using businesses in the area, the reopening will not come quickly enough.

Not everyone wants to take the scenic route, but there are many drivers who would rather avoid the A34, if at all possible, and the A4183 provides a quick and efficient link with the Hinksey Hill interchange.

There will be some drivers questioning why repair work has taken so long, but county council leaders are aware of the importance of the route, and are determined to get this revamp right.