THE head of transport for the city wants Oxford Mail readers to tell him how hundreds of thousands of remaining cash should be spent on improving conditions for cyclists in the city.
We revealed on Monday that only about £15,000 of a dedicated £362,000 has been spent on the Cycle City scheme over the past two years.
Now calls are being made for readers to tell the Oxford City Council exactly how the cash should be spent.
John Tanner, who took on the council’s transport role in May, said: “I’d like your readers to let us know what they’d like to see us do, and look for solutions.
“I’d really like people’s ideas about where they [the council] should spend this money.
“The thing about cycling is that you can spend very little amounts and transform the situation.”
The Cycle City funds need to be spent by the end of the 2015-16 financial year.
Mr Tanner, 68, a retired former citizens’ advice worker, is a regular cyclist. He rides his bike from his New Hinksey home more often than he walks, drives his car, or catches the bus.
“Most of the time cycling is the best way to get about Oxford. It’s fast and efficient. It’s safer and healthier.”
Simon Hunt, chairman of cycling lobby group Cyclox, thinks increasing signage for cycling routes is a low-cost, high-impact initiative.
Signage not only raised the profile of cycling, but was also “helpful in guiding less experienced cyclists to the preferable routes off the main roads,” he said.
But Mr Hunt added: “There are plenty of things that need to be done. There are parts of Oxford that are still very bad.
“The quality of the [road] surface is frequently appalling.”
The cycling lane outside St Giles’ Church on Banbury Road was particularly “uncycleable” he said.
Marking for cycle routes on roads has worn out in many places, such as Cowley Road, and needs to be renewed, the cycling campaigner claimed.
Mr Hunt added that the city council could also improve infrastructure for “inclusive cycling”; that is, bicycles beyond the standard two-wheel bikes, such as family bikes and cycles with trailers.
“These are the kinds of things the council should be spending its money on.”
Steve Stuart, co-owner of Warlands Cycles, in Botley Road, said the council should put cycling lanes on both sides of Botley Road under the railway bridge next to the station.
Honour Tomkinson, the owner of Walton Street Cycles, thinks cycling should be made safer for children riding to school, by building segregated bike paths that are separate from footpaths and roads.
Oxford City Council announced the Cycle City cash in 2012 but all work needs approval from Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority.
Projects announced in 2012 included £30,000 for a cycle lane on Marston Road and removing pavement parking on Donnington Bridge Road.
Residents can contact Mr Tanner in the following ways:
- Post: 32 Sunningwell Road, Oxford, OX1 4SX
- Phone: 01865 251441
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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