‘HIGH-HANDED’ plans to replace car parking spaces on residential streets with controversial cycle lanes have been blasted by people who will be forced to live with the scheme.

Members of the newly-formed Morrell Avenue Area Residents Association came together on Saturday to criticise the introduction of ‘quickways’, which will see segregated cycle lanes along roads in East Oxford at the expense of more than 500 parking spaces.

They are concerned that the scheme will be imposed at the same time as road blocks are installed in nearby Divinity Road as part of the East Oxford low traffic neighbourhood (LTN).

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Mike Kent, who has lived in Morrell Avenue for 20 years, said bringing in the quickways in the area needs to be reconsidered.

“The scheme is being put in a hurried, high-handed and neglectful manner,” he said.

“There are no benefits of the scheme for the hundreds of people who live in the avenue, but some severe negative consequences.

“We of course support safer cycling initiatives but feel that Morrell Avenue is not a safe candidate for this scheme.

“A survey commissioned by residents indicates the average speed of traffic up and down the currently unenforced 20mph limit is 30mph.

“Speeds particularly in the evening and night massively exceed the 30mph limit.

“The quickways cycle lane is soon going to be imposed on Morrell Avenue by the county council at about the same time the Divinity Road LTNs will be installed.

“This is a dreadful double whammy for the residents of Morrell Avenue.

“It is madness to introduce both schemes simultaneously. The impact of the LTN on Morrell Avenue should surely be assessed before implementing the quickway.”

Oxford Mail: Residents of Morrell Avenue have criticised the quickways scheme, where they live. Picture: Liam RiceResidents of Morrell Avenue have criticised the quickways scheme, where they live. Picture: Liam Rice

Muhammad Nadeem, who has lived in Morrell Avenue since 1995, said: “People will be driving too fast, especially for the cyclists.

“I’m a taxi driver, and at night, people are driving at 60 or 70mph down here.

“Since 1995, I’ve never heard of an accident with cyclists in Morrell Avenue, but now all this traffic will come down here and make it more dangerous.

“It’s a downhill road – if it’s a smooth road, then it’s a completely different story.”

The road layout was also a concern for Paul Robinson, a Morrell Avenue resident since 1994.

He said: “It’s such a bad idea due to the state of the drains, there’s a very large dip with the drains at the side of the road.

“The quickways will force cyclists to the edge of the road so if you end up hitting the dips where the drains are, you’ll fall flat on your face.

“It seems to me that there’ll need to be an accident for this to be looked at.”

Oxford Mail: Residents of Morrell Avenue have criticised the quickways scheme, where they live. Picture: Liam RiceResidents of Morrell Avenue have criticised the quickways scheme, where they live. Picture: Liam Rice

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Vandhna Sood added: “Morrell Avenue is a 100 per cent residential road and we want to live on a road where there’s less traffic, and space for cars, but also for carers and family to come and visit us – like any other residential street.

“Parts of Morrell Avenue are a heritage asset and that is how planning is treated for people who live here, but not traffic management it seems.”

“We’re not anti-cycling – we see the problem as the through traffic,” said Peter Rooke.

“If you were to put a bus gate in Warneford Lane, then you wouldn’t need the LTN at Divinity, and it would mean this entire quickway would become a traffic-free zone.”

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In a statement, Oxfordshire County Council said: “The county council held two public consultations on quickways last year.

“The first informal consultation showed that 75 per cent of respondents were in favour of the scheme.

“This was followed by a formal consultation that ran alongside a traffic regulation order, which showed that over 60 per cent of respondents were in favour of quickways.

“During this time the council also engaged with residents, schools, community groups and businesses in the area to ensure their feedback was taken into account while designing the scheme.

“We will continue to listen to and respond to questions received from members of the public.

“The quickways and east Oxford LTNs are being installed simultaneously to minimise disruptions for residents and businesses in the area.”

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