CYCLING CITY DAY 1: Cycle lanes could run under Oxford railway bridge

thisisoxfordshire: Richard Mann, chairman of Cyclox Buy this photo Richard Mann, chairman of Cyclox

TWO cycle lanes could be installed under Oxford’s Botley Road railway bridge to make it safer for people on two wheels.

But the £15,000 project would mean narrowing the width of the carriageway for drivers. The idea is one of 57 possibilities that Oxford City Council is looking into as part of its Cycle City scheme. Cyclists say plans to do something about the Botley Road rail bridge are long overdue, and the council has highlighted it as a “high-priority” scheme.

Botley Road is one of the busiest routes into and out of the city, and earlier this year it was branded an “accident blackspot” by cycling campaign group Sustrans. Richard Mann, of cycling campaign group Cyclox , said: “The main problem with the bridge is that there is no cycle lane going into town.

“There is room for a cycle lane just about if you move the central line across.

“The space coming out of town is a bit excessive and one of the problems is that people drive out of town too fast.

“This has been pretty much top of the list for the whole city for several years so it is long overdue.”

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  • The Botley Road railway bridge is just outside Oxford station

According to the city council’s plan, improvements will be made to the “safety and usability” of the road under the bridge.

Its priority is to “improve space for cyclists on the approach to, and passing under, the bridge and on the approach to Frideswide Square”.

Colin Cook, the city council’s executive member for city development, said: “The county council has a proposal for putting two cycle lanes in there and reducing the width of the carriageway.

“There is certainly space for two cycle lanes under there.

“I cycle under that bridge two times a day so I know the problem that’s there.”

Money for the city council’s scheme will come from a number of different sources.

The council will be spending £100,000 from its capital budget in each of the first two years of the scheme followed by £50,000 in each of the following years.

It plans to spend £10,000 from its revenue budget in each of the four years of the scheme, with an additional £500,000 coming from so-called Section 106 money, paid to the authority by developers.

Cyclists and pedestrians had mixed views about the plans.

John Gardner, 46, a university professor, of Bridge Street, Oxford, said: "This is an absolute disaster area for cyclists. It is not safe enough to cycle through so we get off our bikes and stay on the other side."

Sarah Lidwell, 33, a business owner, of Barrett Street, Oxford, said: "I think it is a good idea. At the moment it is murderous to go under there but there isn’t really space for a cycle lane."

Lee Woodward, 30, a student adviser, from Abingdon, said: "It will be good for pedestrians. If you ever try to walk along there you have cyclists trying to get along there at the same time."

Comments (10)

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7:42pm Mon 30 Jul 12

BigAlBiker says...

I can see the logic of having approved cycle lanes under the bridge but not how exactly?

Perhaps steal some space from the footpath.
I can see the logic of having approved cycle lanes under the bridge but not how exactly? Perhaps steal some space from the footpath. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Mon 30 Jul 12

EMBOX1 says...

The footpaths down there are very narrow anyway, and also it floods when we get heavy rain.

That whole bridge needs re-doing, widening, deepening and with capacity for cycle lanes and wider footpaths.

I would wait until a decision is made on the new train station.
The footpaths down there are very narrow anyway, and also it floods when we get heavy rain. That whole bridge needs re-doing, widening, deepening and with capacity for cycle lanes and wider footpaths. I would wait until a decision is made on the new train station. EMBOX1
  • Score: 1

9:45pm Mon 30 Jul 12

patjay says...

it is an apology for a 'footpath' battling with pushchairs, prams, luggage carriers en route to and fro, invariably obliged to get on the road, if clear, to pass, apart from continual water overflowing or unswept leaves causing a hazard. The so called pedestrian tunnel is an eyesore, cyclists rarely dismount which should be a common courtesy.
to remove the road pavement would ease up some space, but not help those getting to the train station. The bottom line is that there is not enough space to do anything really worthwhile. Probably not allowed, but a central, or one side, two-way cycle lane controlled by dedicated traffic lights - you know, when red, you have to stop, might be a solution.
it is an apology for a 'footpath' battling with pushchairs, prams, luggage carriers en route to and fro, invariably obliged to get on the road, if clear, to pass, apart from continual water overflowing or unswept leaves causing a hazard. The so called pedestrian tunnel is an eyesore, cyclists rarely dismount which should be a common courtesy. to remove the road pavement would ease up some space, but not help those getting to the train station. The bottom line is that there is not enough space to do anything really worthwhile. Probably not allowed, but a central, or one side, two-way cycle lane controlled by dedicated traffic lights - you know, when red, you have to stop, might be a solution. patjay
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Mon 30 Jul 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

How about cyclists dismounting and pushing their bicycles along the footpath under the bridge, there's no room for a dedicated cycle lane, especially whilst the bus lane is there.
How about cyclists dismounting and pushing their bicycles along the footpath under the bridge, there's no room for a dedicated cycle lane, especially whilst the bus lane is there. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

10:48pm Mon 30 Jul 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

EMBOX1 wrote:
The footpaths down there are very narrow anyway, and also it floods when we get heavy rain.

That whole bridge needs re-doing, widening, deepening and with capacity for cycle lanes and wider footpaths.

I would wait until a decision is made on the new train station.
Exactly

It's a complete waste of time and money to do anything before Network Rail announce the plans for the Railway Station...

With 4 through platforms and bays too, there is the possibility of several thousand passengers regularly disembarking from services arriving into Oxford at the same time - this will need a complete rethink of passenger/bus/cycle/
taxi and private car dynamics in that area.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX1[/bold] wrote: The footpaths down there are very narrow anyway, and also it floods when we get heavy rain. That whole bridge needs re-doing, widening, deepening and with capacity for cycle lanes and wider footpaths. I would wait until a decision is made on the new train station.[/p][/quote]Exactly It's a complete waste of time and money to do anything before Network Rail announce the plans for the Railway Station... With 4 through platforms and bays too, there is the possibility of several thousand passengers regularly disembarking from services arriving into Oxford at the same time - this will need a complete rethink of passenger/bus/cycle/ taxi and private car dynamics in that area. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

11:17pm Mon 30 Jul 12

iklhik says...

A better solution would just be to sort out the mess that is Frideswide Square so that traffic no longer queues under the bridge.

Preferably give the design to someone other than the geniuses in Oxfordshire Highways, who's current attempt managed to be both difficult to use for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and buses alike, whilst at the same time being an incredibly unattractive gateway to the city.
A better solution would just be to sort out the mess that is Frideswide Square so that traffic no longer queues under the bridge. Preferably give the design to someone other than the geniuses in Oxfordshire Highways, who's current attempt managed to be both difficult to use for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and buses alike, whilst at the same time being an incredibly unattractive gateway to the city. iklhik
  • Score: 0

9:07am Tue 31 Jul 12

Dick Wolff says...

the Green Party did actually do some work on this over a year ago and I led a discussion in the City Council chamber. Council formally commended the 2-cycle-lane option.
the Green Party did actually do some work on this over a year ago and I led a discussion in the City Council chamber. Council formally commended the 2-cycle-lane option. Dick Wolff
  • Score: 0

11:41am Tue 31 Jul 12

gymrat34 says...

iklhik wrote:
A better solution would just be to sort out the mess that is Frideswide Square so that traffic no longer queues under the bridge.

Preferably give the design to someone other than the geniuses in Oxfordshire Highways, who's current attempt managed to be both difficult to use for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and buses alike, whilst at the same time being an incredibly unattractive gateway to the city.
The redesign of Frideswide Square will not resolve the traffic issues as there will be less space for vehicles and the other bottle necks in and around the city centre remain. Traffic will always queue under the bridge, unfortunately. A new bridge with a new train station seems the only real option.
[quote][p][bold]iklhik[/bold] wrote: A better solution would just be to sort out the mess that is Frideswide Square so that traffic no longer queues under the bridge. Preferably give the design to someone other than the geniuses in Oxfordshire Highways, who's current attempt managed to be both difficult to use for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and buses alike, whilst at the same time being an incredibly unattractive gateway to the city.[/p][/quote]The redesign of Frideswide Square will not resolve the traffic issues as there will be less space for vehicles and the other bottle necks in and around the city centre remain. Traffic will always queue under the bridge, unfortunately. A new bridge with a new train station seems the only real option. gymrat34
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Tue 31 Jul 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Dick Wolff wrote:
the Green Party did actually do some work on this over a year ago and I led a discussion in the City Council chamber. Council formally commended the 2-cycle-lane option.
Over the years there has been much discussion about what to do with this bridge.

An adjacent pedestrian underpass within the Railway Station was blocked off (not sure if in-filled) many years ago. With a bit of foresight it may have been utilised. Planning approving a youth hostel on the edge of a very tight site a decade ago probably doesn't help matters.

So what is your opinion now? Should cash be spent on making expensive, temporary improvements, that will be destroyed in early course? Or spend time lobbying Network Rail for prompt plans and definitive dates in order that the scheme can be integrated with council plans?
[quote][p][bold]Dick Wolff[/bold] wrote: the Green Party did actually do some work on this over a year ago and I led a discussion in the City Council chamber. Council formally commended the 2-cycle-lane option.[/p][/quote]Over the years there has been much discussion about what to do with this bridge. An adjacent pedestrian underpass within the Railway Station was blocked off (not sure if in-filled) many years ago. With a bit of foresight it may have been utilised. Planning approving a youth hostel on the edge of a very tight site a decade ago probably doesn't help matters. So what is your opinion now? Should cash be spent on making expensive, temporary improvements, that will be destroyed in early course? Or spend time lobbying Network Rail for prompt plans and definitive dates in order that the scheme can be integrated with council plans? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

8:31pm Tue 31 Jul 12

Sophia says...

patjay is right, there isnt room to improve things, already the footpath is so narrow that tourists step off onto the road without looking, right into the cyclists.
patjay is right, there isnt room to improve things, already the footpath is so narrow that tourists step off onto the road without looking, right into the cyclists. Sophia
  • Score: 0

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