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It’s viable but no cash for B4044 Eynsham Road cycle path
6:00pm Friday 20th July 2012 in News
THE campaign for a cycle path along one of Oxfordshire’s busiest roads is being stepped up, after a study showed the idea was viable.
Cyclists and pedestrians say the B4044 between Dean Court, Farmoor and Eynsham is winding, unlit and too narrow to allow a vehicle to overtake a bike against traffic .
Now a study from cycle lobby group Sustrans shows building a new ‘community path’ would solve the problem, but it would cost £800,000.
While the scheme is feasible Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree warned there is no money in the pot to pay for it.
He said: “A lot of work has gone into pursuing ideas and we know there is enthusiasm for them locally. However there is very little funding so there is no possibility of the county council fully or even part-funding this scheme in the foreseeable future.”
Ian Leggett, from community group Bike Safe, which commissioned the study, said: “We looked at different options but the only real option for a variety of reasons was to create a dedicated off-road route.
“Anything else would be too dangerous because the road is simply too narrow.
“But hopefully this would be supported by motorists as it will ease traffic and cyclists could cycle without having a bus six inches off their back wheel.”
The study was funded by £6,250 won by the group in a national Natwest Community Force competition last year, when it collected a high number of public votes. It showed the path would be cost-effective on one side of the road rather than two and could be built in phases.
The two phases – from Eynsham to Farmoor and then from Farmoor to Botley the following year – would cost £400,000 each. Previous estimates put the cost at between £1m and £2m.
Mr Leggett said: “This would be an investment which would pay for itself in seven or eight years.
“This would make an incredible difference. If you live in Farmoor, you cannot walk anywhere because there are no pavements.
“You can’t walk even to the shops and you are isolated. It is a crazy situation.”
The findings of the study will be presented in a meeting at 7.30pm tonight at Farmoor Village Hall. The public are welcome.
Mr Leggett said: “We continue to need community support. The major thing we face is the council says it a good scheme but is not committed to delivering it.
“This will never happen without the community.”