11:00am Monday 17th March 2014
By Matt Oliver
PLANS for an Eynsham to Oxford cycle path are speeding up, thanks to a £30,000 cash injection.
Bike Safe has received £5,000 from Vale of the White Horse District Council and £25,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government, after it applied for funding.
The proposed route would follow the A420 from Swinford roundabout, outside Eynsham, to Dean Court, Oxford, where it would link up with city cycle paths.
Group chairman and Farmoor resident Ian Leggett said the money would be spent on putting together detailed plans that could be submitted to the county council.
The father-of-three said: “We have been campaigning for this for a couple of years, so we are absolutely delighted.
“If we can secure funding for construction quickly enough then this could be ready to go before the end of the year.”
The group currently estimates the final cost will be about £1.25m.
Mr Leggett added: “Oxfordshire presents itself as the cycling centre of the UK but we spend far less on it than they do in London.
“That is disgraceful and needs to change.”
Farmoor councillor Janet Godden, of Oxfordshire County Council, said she would champion the scheme at county level when it comes forward for consideration.
She said: “I hope it will demonstrate how this sort of path is much more than a leisure route.
“It is also a key economic one for those who wish to cycle to work and the path will make it much safer for everyone, cyclists and drivers.
“Bike Safe has shown real drive and commitment to this project, so I wish them well.”
But county council cabinet member for environment David Nimmo Smith said that funding would have to come from central government and that the route length should be reduced.
He said: “To secure the funding from central government you have to show it is really on an economic route.
“Eynsham residents can already use the cycle path on the A40 if they wish to cycle into Oxford.
“It has been suggested to campaigners that they reduce the size of the route to go from Farmoor to Botley instead, as it is more likely to gain funding.”
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