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An oxbow road is a short section of road, usually a curve, that has been bypassed by a higher standard road.layby, or as access to property located on the old road. Some oxbows are left as the result of a junction improvements. Very occasionally, the oxbow road would be entirely abandoned, with no connection to the road network. An example of this could be seen until recently next to the M4 between junctions 43 and 44, when a short section of the A48 was abandoned during conversion to motorway. By 2015 the abandoned road had eventually been dug up, and the land is now being developed for housing.
The term derives from the geographical term oxbow lake, which refers to a former stretch of river left behind as a lake when a river changes course.