Does the city council take cyclists into account when designing infrastructure?

A cylist negotiates The Plain roundabout

A cylist negotiates The Plain roundabout

First published in News

Historically Oxford has a profound link with cycling. This relationship needs to be nurtured, along with better access to cycles and safer routes in and around Oxford. Slowly, more people are switching from four wheels to two, writes city councillor David Henwood.

The racks in front of the Westgate and Carfax are always full, and more could be done to create new parking opportunities to encourage more cyclists in Oxford.

The political will for change is unilateral across all parties.

A recent transport select committee’s report highlighted £10 per head (currently £2 per head) of population should be spent on cycling by 2020.

Oxford Mail:

Wendy Jennings is Oxfordshire County Council’s specialist for delivering cycling courses at local schools. Teachers, parents and school governors should encourage headteachers to take advantage of the team’s expertise and invite them in for training their children to ride safely.

There is a £347,000 Cycle City fund to improve cycling in the area.

Oxford City Council’s John Tanner, who took on the council’s transport role, 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 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.

I think Oxford should lead the country by introducing cycling courses for older generations.Revisiting two wheels in a social context would improve knowledge and understanding not only of the newer technology in cycles, but would also reduce the vulnerability older cyclists feel when on the road.

Targeting this older group has proven values in reducing heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity – expected to cost the NHS £5bn a year.

We plan to introduce a toddlers’ fun bike experience to develop a sense of responsibility in the October half-term in Florence Park.

If successful this could be rolled out to older age groups.

We need to raise the profile of cycling not just as a means to be healthier and safer but also as a means of protecting our environment.

Cycle lanes have to adapt to the physical characteristics of each street.

This shouldn’t stop us from seeking better ways to make cyclists safer.

It’s usually fastest to use a bike for an Oxford journey, the city centre’s simple street pattern makes for short trips by bike, writes Cyclox committee member Graham Smith.

 At the same time the ever-increasing size and number of buses and other vehicles means that junctions are congested for motorised travel.

Oxford Mail:

A late afternoon ride from the John Radcliffe Hospital to St Aldate’s can easily take three times longer by bus.

But the risk presented by motor vehicles to people cycling is significant.

Cycling commuters report serious near-misses at a rate of around one a week for a weekly commute.

Even though Oxford is known for cycling, the risks presented by the current road traffic system are off-putting.

Learning from north European traffic it might be expected that cycling in Oxford could be doubled or greater.

Such a rate would increase efficiency, reduce noise, increase health levels and reduce energy consumption.

If more children and young people were allowed to use bikes for independent travel it could release many hours of escort journeys for parents and relatives.

But this will not happen.

The county council, now in charge of highways, will not provide safe space for cycling.

Even when the Government gave out nearly a million pounds for redesigning The Plain, the county reneged on its proposal and instead designed an efficient bus junction with most cycling space compromised by bus manoeuvres.

While national, county and city policies give lip service to a road design hierarchy where pedestrians and cyclists come first, Oxfordshire has chosen to prioritise the bus.

The city, too, has more or less acceded to this policy by regarding cycle infrastructure, eg segregated provision where possible, as being inappropriate for the historic core of the city.

Better to have stone paving without bike paths: look at the proposal for Frideswide Square.

Look at the redesigned High St, a bus free-for-all, narrow pavements and only about seven metres of safe space for cycling.

The bus services can be great in Oxford, unless you want to cross the city centre in the wrong way, make connected or many orbital journeys.

Cycling represents a significant percentage of work and education trips now, in spite of the conditions.

We must make “space for cycling”, like London is beginning to do, and then all city journeys will be improved.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:33am Wed 20 Aug 14

gooner37 says...

Why should the council look at the infrastructure when it's the cyclist's them selves that need looking at, they don't obey traffic signals road rules, crossings or take other people or vehicles into consideration, I had 5 weeks absent from work due to a cyclist not wanting to stop at a red light so he just hopped onto to path and ploughed into me, then proceeded to blame me!!! I'm a cyclist myself and have always obeyed the rules of the road but the majority of cyclists in Oxford don't, I've even seen the so-called leader of CYCLOX go through red lights and riding on pavements, Educate the cyclist before ruining even more of oxfords woeful roads
Why should the council look at the infrastructure when it's the cyclist's them selves that need looking at, they don't obey traffic signals road rules, crossings or take other people or vehicles into consideration, I had 5 weeks absent from work due to a cyclist not wanting to stop at a red light so he just hopped onto to path and ploughed into me, then proceeded to blame me!!! I'm a cyclist myself and have always obeyed the rules of the road but the majority of cyclists in Oxford don't, I've even seen the so-called leader of CYCLOX go through red lights and riding on pavements, Educate the cyclist before ruining even more of oxfords woeful roads gooner37
  • Score: -5

10:44am Wed 20 Aug 14

Richard of Wantage says...

gooner37 wrote:
Why should the council look at the infrastructure when it's the cyclist's them selves that need looking at, they don't obey traffic signals road rules, crossings or take other people or vehicles into consideration, I had 5 weeks absent from work due to a cyclist not wanting to stop at a red light so he just hopped onto to path and ploughed into me, then proceeded to blame me!!! I'm a cyclist myself and have always obeyed the rules of the road but the majority of cyclists in Oxford don't, I've even seen the so-called leader of CYCLOX go through red lights and riding on pavements, Educate the cyclist before ruining even more of oxfords woeful roads
What a silly comment! By your rule the pot holes should be fixed because some drivers drink and drive!
[quote][p][bold]gooner37[/bold] wrote: Why should the council look at the infrastructure when it's the cyclist's them selves that need looking at, they don't obey traffic signals road rules, crossings or take other people or vehicles into consideration, I had 5 weeks absent from work due to a cyclist not wanting to stop at a red light so he just hopped onto to path and ploughed into me, then proceeded to blame me!!! I'm a cyclist myself and have always obeyed the rules of the road but the majority of cyclists in Oxford don't, I've even seen the so-called leader of CYCLOX go through red lights and riding on pavements, Educate the cyclist before ruining even more of oxfords woeful roads[/p][/quote]What a silly comment! By your rule the pot holes should be fixed because some drivers drink and drive! Richard of Wantage
  • Score: 4

11:31am Wed 20 Aug 14

cowley bob says...

Yawn,another anti bike comment. Most people who work in Oxford have a commute of less than 4 miles,if there was a safe bike policy they would bike to work, but no,lets all jump in our car's,or wait 15 mins for a full bus to to turn up,and bleat like sheep.i am not a green veggy eating cyclist,just a real person who see's the bigger picture,and buses/trams are not the answer ! especially in a restricted town that has not changed since the 1300's !
Yawn,another anti bike comment. Most people who work in Oxford have a commute of less than 4 miles,if there was a safe bike policy they would bike to work, but no,lets all jump in our car's,or wait 15 mins for a full bus to to turn up,and bleat like sheep.i am not a green veggy eating cyclist,just a real person who see's the bigger picture,and buses/trams are not the answer ! especially in a restricted town that has not changed since the 1300's ! cowley bob
  • Score: 5

11:49am Wed 20 Aug 14

andy1975 says...

The simple answer is no they don't. Cycle infrastructure is terrible in this country and the reason some people cycle badly is a reflection of being marginalised. Cycle paths go up and down kerbs, stop and start and then suddenly stop at junctions. Other countries integrate them into the road system and it works. Why don't we follow their example? Cycling benefits everyone, the whole of society, so surely that justifies spending a lot of money on it not just a token amount?
The simple answer is no they don't. Cycle infrastructure is terrible in this country and the reason some people cycle badly is a reflection of being marginalised. Cycle paths go up and down kerbs, stop and start and then suddenly stop at junctions. Other countries integrate them into the road system and it works. Why don't we follow their example? Cycling benefits everyone, the whole of society, so surely that justifies spending a lot of money on it not just a token amount? andy1975
  • Score: 15

12:45pm Wed 20 Aug 14

oxforddom says...

Intelligent infrastructure design needs an intelligent designer, unfortunately we're stuck with the halfwittery David Tole and the clods at OCC.
Intelligent infrastructure design needs an intelligent designer, unfortunately we're stuck with the halfwittery David Tole and the clods at OCC. oxforddom
  • Score: 8

1:18pm Wed 20 Aug 14

cowley bob says...

oxforddom wrote:
Intelligent infrastructure design needs an intelligent designer, unfortunately we're stuck with the halfwittery David Tole and the clods at OCC.
It also requires respect ! i spend my holidays in eastern/southern Europe,no cycling infrastructure,but people respect other road user's !
[quote][p][bold]oxforddom[/bold] wrote: Intelligent infrastructure design needs an intelligent designer, unfortunately we're stuck with the halfwittery David Tole and the clods at OCC.[/p][/quote]It also requires respect ! i spend my holidays in eastern/southern Europe,no cycling infrastructure,but people respect other road user's ! cowley bob
  • Score: 3

2:43pm Wed 20 Aug 14

photon says...

I used to live in the Netherlands and it was so safe cycling there, every town has separated cycle paths away from the cars, we really could learn a lot from the Dutch. I think no new road should be allowed to be built without a segregated cycle path.
I used to live in the Netherlands and it was so safe cycling there, every town has separated cycle paths away from the cars, we really could learn a lot from the Dutch. I think no new road should be allowed to be built without a segregated cycle path. photon
  • Score: 9

5:33pm Wed 20 Aug 14

gooner37 says...

cowley bob wrote:
Yawn,another anti bike comment. Most people who work in Oxford have a commute of less than 4 miles,if there was a safe bike policy they would bike to work, but no,lets all jump in our car's,or wait 15 mins for a full bus to to turn up,and bleat like sheep.i am not a green veggy eating cyclist,just a real person who see's the bigger picture,and buses/trams are not the answer ! especially in a restricted town that has not changed since the 1300's !
Anti bike comment?? How can that be when it clearly says "I am a cyclist myself"
[quote][p][bold]cowley bob[/bold] wrote: Yawn,another anti bike comment. Most people who work in Oxford have a commute of less than 4 miles,if there was a safe bike policy they would bike to work, but no,lets all jump in our car's,or wait 15 mins for a full bus to to turn up,and bleat like sheep.i am not a green veggy eating cyclist,just a real person who see's the bigger picture,and buses/trams are not the answer ! especially in a restricted town that has not changed since the 1300's ![/p][/quote]Anti bike comment?? How can that be when it clearly says "I am a cyclist myself" gooner37
  • Score: -3

8:06pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Myron Blatz says...

Surely the Oxford Mail could have found an even larger photo of Cllr Henwood? At this rate, Cllr Tanner will start to get an inferiority complex about his photogenic exposure in the newspapers!
Surely the Oxford Mail could have found an even larger photo of Cllr Henwood? At this rate, Cllr Tanner will start to get an inferiority complex about his photogenic exposure in the newspapers! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree