Cyclists are calling for better cycle routes after feeling unsafe cycling in the dark between Abingdon and Culham.

Commuters have complained that the cycle path that follows the A415 from Abingdon to the Culham Science Centre is not wide enough, not adequately lit and that they have had near misses with other cyclists.

Cyclists have taken to an Abingdon community Facebook page to make their voices heard.

Chris Jones said: " I have tried using it in the past but concluded it is too dangerous to use in the dark. When cycling back from Culham to Abingdon you are dazzled by the lights of the oncoming cars and you only need to swerve a little to avoid a pedestrian in dark clothing and you are off the path and into a head on collision with a car. There is only one path for bicycles going both ways, effectively it is a single track lane. The road is actually safer."

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Niki Roberts said: "My cyclist husband fully lit up with a hi-viz jacket was hit two winters ago on the narrow section unlit section on the Clifton Hampden garage side by another cyclist with no lights, no hi-viz who was on their phone. My husband ended up in the road, fortunately nothing was coming with a broken wrist, the other cyclist didn’t even stop."

John Mears said: "That track is quite narrow, and as other people say, hard to follow in the dark when you are dazzled by car head lamps."

Sarah Sheldon is also concerned at the state of the cycle path and wrote to Councillor Robin Bennett. He said: "We are addressing this by working on a new policy for treatment of verges and maintenance of cycle infrastructure, which we know is inadequate.

"I am expecting it to mean allowing for increased biodiversity in some places, but also careful management for sight lines and safety where needed."

Oxfordshire County Council said it has investigated upgrading the path along the A415 and has previously bid unsuccessfully for funding for improvements between Culham Science Centre and Abingdon.

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The council said: "As part of the Science Vale Active Travel Network options are being considered that would provide a high-quality cycle connection between these two locations, but no funding is currently available for the delivery of these improvements.

"However, through the allocation in the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 for housing to the west of Culham Science Centre, it is anticipated that a new cycle connection will be made (either by way of a developer contribution or direct delivery by the developer) between Culham and Abingdon. Unfortunately, as this is linked to the development of the housing allocation, its delivery will coincide with the build out of the development, which is expected to commence in 2026."

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