NEW signs telling cyclists to get off their bikes on a hazardous footpath have gone up after a long campaign.

The signs have been put up in Parry Close, Marston, after a series of incidents where pedestrians have been struck by bikes or cyclists coming out of the lane have almost collided with cars.

Oxford city councillor for Marston Mick Haines said he was “over the moon” over the installation of permanent signs – erected after temporary ones were ripped down.

Mr Haines said: “I am really pleased that something has been done and it’s long overdue.”

The path has long been a source of contention for residents and on July 19 the Oxford Mail reported how councillors had suggested introducing more bollards to tackle the problem. But that idea was rejected at a meeting between councillors and Steve Axtell, senior traffic technician from Oxfordshire County Council, and Oliver Hearn, from Oxford City Council highways and engineering.

It was feared that people in wheelchairs or with pushchairs would not be able to get through if there were more bollards. Temporary signs were installed but they were then vandalised and pulled down.

Councillor for Marston Mary Clarkson said: “I’m very glad that the signage has gone up. “It’s good to get permanent signs that look official and hopefully that will help to get the message through.”

Ms Clarkson, a regular cyclist, said: “Cyclists have to realise that it’s not their track.”

The narrow track has been criticised by residents as dangerous. And they feared the problem would get worse after the £157,000 cycle path linking Marston with the city centre was completed.

Mr Haines said that a year ago a man from Hugh Allen Crescent, which runs next to the path, was hit by a cyclist and needed 15 stitches in his arm.

John Maguire, 55, said the situation was “crazy” and his neighbour had almost run over two cyclists because he could not see them.

He welcomed the new signs and said: “My neighbour Liz did a survey for an hour in the morning and 114 people cycled down the path.

“There are no excuses for people now and the new signs look more official.”

But Mr Maguire said the sign at the Purcell Road end of the footpath may be too high for cyclists to see, at about 7ft.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said a new bollard at the Parry Close end and a sign at the Purcell Road end had been installed after requests from the community, at a cost of about £550.