PLANS to make safer cycle routes around Oxford would result in the loss of almost 650 parking spaces on the city’s streets.

Oxfordshire County Council has opened a public consultation for a so-called ‘cycle quickway’ scheme, which would see wider cycle lanes created and more 20mph limits on routes into the city centre.

However, to accommodate the plans, 649 parking spaces will be lost – most in East Oxford.

They includes 195 on Cowley Road and Oxford Road, and 132 between Iffley Road, Henley Avenue and Rose Hill.

John Skinner, who is leader of residents group One St Marys, said: “This started without any leaflets, notices on lampposts, or any other publicity.

“Residents and visitor parking will be removed from Morrell Avenue, Warneford Lane, Iffley Road, and along most of Cowley Road as well as in many other city areas, forcing residents to park in side streets and creating more parking problems.

“The new lanes are so narrow that two buses will not be able to pass, effectively making the roads leading to The Plain one-way in places.

“Inevitably this will cause major congestion and delay buses, taxis and emergency service vehicles and impacting on all local residents and businesses.”

Householder Maz Dogar from Littlemore raised concerns of the impact the loss of parking will have on local businesses.

He said: “The ‘quickways’ will really affect the businesses on Cowley Road if 195 spaces are lost there and on Oxford Road.

“Where are those like me and my family, who want to support local businesses and enjoy the restaurants and bars, going to park? And it’s not just me – people come from all over to enjoy Cowley Road’s businesses.”

Concerns were also raised about the loss of spaces near Morrell Avenue with concerns it would affect those visiting the Warneford Hospital, South Park and Oxford Brookes.

The proposal is a result of a £3m cash boost from the Government’s Active Travel Fund to upgrade infrastructure to increase levels of walking, cycling and use of rented e-scooters.

However, even those who believe cycle links to be improved in the city are not entirely happy with the council’s proposal. Danny Yee, an active travel campaigner from Howard Street, said: "These plans are limited in that they don't do any hard engineering - they rely on a bit of paint on the road, signs, and things like that - there's no attempt to move kerb lines or put in zebra crossings."

"The biggest thing missing is that there is no attempt to do anything about major junctions - that's because this is expensive and because we can't make the junctions safe for cycling without taking either space or time away from motor traffic."

Oxfordshire County Council failed to respond to a request for a comment.

Update: council responds to concerns over loss of parking

The consultation is open until October 10 at