A £9.1M PLAN to improve cycling and walking on a key route in Oxford is likely to get the go-ahead this week.

The Botley Road Corridor project will improve infrastructure and safety for people who are not travelling in vehicles along the stretch and is set to be signed off tomorrow.

It will start by Oxford Station and run to where the county council wants to build a remote park-and-ride in Cumnor – a path of just over three-and-a-half miles.

In an application sent by the council to the Department for Transport, it said it would seek ‘to increase the people-moving capacity of the corridor and make the most of new technology and innovation along the route’.

It is also hoped the work would bring particular improvements on the section of the corridor between Binsey Lane and Eynsham Road.

The application said the money would ensure Botley Road could be an ‘efficient and effective transport system... essential to Oxford’s continued economic success and vitality’.

The path is already dangerous to use for cyclists at times – with 47 per cent of all crashes in the corridor involving people on bikes. The majority of those happened with people at side roads, a council report stated.

It admits the provision for cyclists is of a ‘low and inconsistent standard, leading to delay and conflict with other users’ and needs to be improved.

For all the positive changes, cycling expert Andrew Gilligan criticised it for ‘falling short’ when he released a long-anticipated report last month.

He notes in the report, Running out of Road, that ‘key requirements for any main road cycle route are that it should be separated from traffic, deal properly with junctions and have a high level of consistency’.

He added: “The council’s own draft cycling design standards, which are quite good, specify ‘steeped cycle tracks’ as the minimum provision on busy main roads.

“The two detailed proposals so far published, in ‘corridor studies’ for Banbury and Botley Roads, do not achieve these requirements. No junction has been satisfactorily addressed, routes lack ‘continuous and uniform provision’ and, though some segregation is proposed, there are still long sections mixing with traffic.”

Nevertheless, the county council will press on after it was given funding, with its cabinet set to approve the spend from 2pm tomorrow.

The project’s budget will be paid for by £5m from the National Productivity Investment Fund, £3.25m from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and another £850,000 from developers’ contributions.

The Housing and Growth Deal was signed in March by all Oxfordshire council leaders and the then housing minister – and now Brexit secretary – Dominic Raab.

About a fifth of all commuters in Oxford cycle to work and Mr Gilligan’s report said £150m of investment should be driven into the city to help cycling flourish.

In comparison, he said £25m should be invested in Cambridge and Milton Keynes. He studied the three cities for his National Infrastructure Commission report. Cambridge is the only city in which a higher proportion of people cycle to work than in Oxford.