WORK has begun to improve the walking and cycling route running alongside the A34 between Kennington and Oxford to cut down congestion on the busy route.

Sustrans, a charity that tries to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, has received funding from Highways England and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to deliver the £276,000 of improvements to the route.

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The charity is resurfacing the path and removing or modifying obstructive barriers and cattle grids, to make it far easier for people to get into Oxford by walking or cycling, instead of always relying on their cars.

The improvements are being made between the Cowley Branch Line and Sandford Lane.

Oxford Mail:

James Cleeton, Sustrans Director for south England, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Highways England and welcome this investment that will make it easier for more people to walk or cycle for their everyday journeys."

He added: "The surface on this section of the National Cycle Network is not up to scratch and currently floods in bad weather. This work will make it possible to use the route year-round. Removing barriers and cattle grids will make it far easier for people on cycles, with pushchairs or using mobility aids to enjoy the benefits of active travel.

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“Cycling and walking for local journeys is part of the solution to many of the challenges we face today, including road congestion, air pollution and high levels of inactivity.”

The path was built 20 years ago and runs close to the mainline railway through Kennington, before joining the Thames Path into Oxford, where improvement works have been completed by Oxfordshire County Council. The work at Kennington is planned to complete by March 2020, at which point the riverside path will have been improved all the way to Oxford city centre.