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Activists plan cycle lane on ‘dangerous stretch of road’
EARLY plans for a bike lane on a “dangerous” stretch of road between Botley and Eynsham have been drawn up.
Campaigners and community group Bike Safe have been looking to create the path, which would run alongside the B4044, for about 18 months.
The group has now had studies carried out to assess whether it is feasible and is in the early stages of getting a design to put forward for consultation.
And it hopes to submit a planning application for the project in April or May this year.
But Ian Leggett, chairman of Bike Safe, said the group still needs help with funding for the design process and background work, which would cost about £60,000.
In total, it is estimated the lane would cost £1m.
Last March the group called on the county council to bid for Government cash to help with the scheme.
However, the authority didn’t apply for the funds because, a spokesman said: “Although we understand the strong desire for the scheme locally, we are not able to commit the kind of funding that would be required to make up the shortfall.”
Mr Leggett said they want to present a “solid plan” to the council this year so it can try to get Government money.
He said: “One of our members ran the Oxford Half Marathon recently and through him we raised about £3,000 and we have lots of events coming up to help with the costs.
“What we really want is to be able to present Oxfordshire County Council with a solid plan and if it gets approval from the planning department then what we ideally want to do is say to the county council, here is the idea and it is what is called ‘shovel ready’, so the council can try to get Government funding for it.”
The proposed path, wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to use at the same time, would run alongside Eynsham Road from the Swinford toll bridge to Dean Court, at the A420 junction.
Mr Leggett added: “This is a dangerous stretch of road and people have been calling for something like this for a long time.
“There are little things we need to work out, like how the path would work at the toll bridge end and how it is incorporated, but everything that we have now will obviously be put in a consultation.
“There are many people who live in Eynsham and Farmoor who work in the Botley Road area, and many from Botley who work on the Eynsham industrial estate, so it would be well used.”
Last March Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron praised the campaign as he walked along part of the route.
A spokesman for the county council said the authority had spoken to the organisers and added that it would be “happy to help” with advice needed regarding the planning application.
He said one accident was recorded on the stretch of road last year involving a cyclist, but no injuries were recorded.
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