FUNDING will be sought out to complete a cycling path alongside a dangerous west Oxfordshire b-road where a cyclist died last month.

An upgrade to the B4044 between Oxford and Witney would mean cyclists could safely travel along the road via a ‘community path’ running next to the road.

The path is still on the cards according to Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for the environment.

It was originally included in a bid for £102m awarded to OCC on Friday, October 1, which will see the A40 between Witney and Eynsham widened into a dual carriageway.

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The cycling path along the B4044 was removed from the bid for money from the Housing Infrastructure Fund as the whole bid may have failed if it was included, according to Ms Constance.

Lib dem councillor for North Hinksey, Judy Roberts, warned the road was dangerous for cyclists and made mention of John Howse, 58, a postman from Farmoor who died after his bike was hit by a van on the road on Monday, October 28.

Ms Roberts said: “If it hadn’t been removed maybe we might have this funding now and that person might not have died.”

Ms Constance told her fellow councillors an alternative means of funding was being sought to build the road at the full meeting of the council on Tuesday, November 5.

Oxford Mail:

Yvonne Constance.

She said: “I am sure the whole county has great sympathy for the resident, who I understand was the local postman, who was killed in the accident.

“We await the outcome of the police investigation.”

She added: “When the A40 HIF bid was approved last month we would have be so pleased if it had funding for the cycle way. However, the county council is aware of the pressure and you are quite right: it is about funding.

“We continue to work with BikeSafe who have written a letter to say we just need to deliver it.

“In March, we withdrew the cycleway from the HIF because it didn’t meet the requirements of the bid and we all had to accept and understand that.”

Lib dem councillors had expressed their anger that the cycle path was not included in the bid before the meeting.

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The £102m will help extend the A40 dual carriageway from Witney to a proposed new Eynsham park and ride.

The county council also hopes the cash will improve cycling facilities on the route and extend the A40 westbound bus lane from west of the Duke’s Cut canal and railway bridges, near Wolvercote, to the park and ride.

The Government says the improvements will allow the building of 5,050 new homes nearby.

Oxford Mail:

A design drawing of the dualled A40.

Up to 32,000 vehicles use theA40 every day, which has been described as one of the biggest barriers to economic growth in the district.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said the A40 upgrade would allow the building of new homes in the district and also mean a greater volume of traffic could fit on the road.

The money for the road expansion comes as part of the latest round of funding from the HIF, which is providing a total of £250m to ‘unlock’ more than 20,000 homes across England.