A £3m cash boost will make a proposed cycling link between East Oxford and the city centre using a new bridge over the Thames a reality.

Today the Government announced Oxfordshire County Council has been successful in its bid for the city’s share of a £114m national cash pot.

But campaign group Cyclox has said the money has been misspent on “low priority stuff”.

The proposed scheme would link Iffley Road to Abingdon Road via a new bridge over the Thames near the Four Pillars Hotel, and upgrade the Thames towpath.

Cabinet member for Transport David Nimmo Smith said: “It’s excellent news. There’s a lot of Government funding around and we are delighted that our scheme has ticked all the boxes.

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“It will go a long way to help sorting out joined-up cycling networks and provide a route from Iffley Road into the centre.”

He added: “I’m aware some cycling lobbyists don’t think this is the best use of the money but it’s not the end of the story.

“There will be future allocations that we will be going for.

“We want to end up with joined-up cycle routes inside and outside the city to make it safer and easier for cyclists.”

The county council said the bid also included a proposed pedestrian and cycle bridge at Oxpens to connect to future planned redevelopment and the train station.

At Oxpens there are plans to build at least 300 homes along with offices, a hotel and leisure facilities to support more than 1,000 jobs.

Cyclox chairman Simon Hunt said the £3m would have been better spent to join up cycling routes into the city.

He said: “It’s not well spent at all, it’s very bizarre. I don’t understand how this has come about.

“It’s not how we would have spent £3m, it’s pretty low priority stuff.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t welcome the funding but we think it’s been misspent.”

He added: “We need a joined-up network of main routes in the city, along the Botley Road, the Woodstock Road and the Banbury Road – it’s common sense to all cyclists.

“With that £3m they could have improved those main routes for existing cyclists and with semi-segregated routes in both directions it’s the sort of thing that would bring new cyclists to the roads.

“I doubt this scheme will generate many more cyclists.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who announced the funding for eight cities under a Cycling City Ambition Programme in November, confirmed the new grant.