Cyclists have hit out at a ‘dangerous’ pathway now ‘half its original’ width that runs alongside a main road in Oxfordshire.  

The cycle lane on the A40 between Witney and Oxford has become overgrown with grass and weeds.

Witney resident and cyclist, Paul Elliott said: “It is now very dangerous to pass oncoming cyclists and pedestrians safely.

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“The grass and weeds have encroached onto the actual path making it less than half its original width.

Oxford Mail:

“I’ve reported this several times over the last few years to FixMyStreet each time being told this complaint is closed or already reported by someone else.

“This is a complete joke. If the maintenance was kept up it would cost less in the long term.”

But the council maintain that the path was trimmed at the start of June and following an inspection today they will be carrying out some additional mowing. 

FixMyStreet is a website which allows people to inform their local authority of problems needing attention.

Other residents have raised concerns about the height of overhanging trees on the pathway.

One person commented FixMyStreet: “It is not possible to cycle along this stretch without having to lower your head.

Oxford Mail: Overhanging branches on the cycle path on the A40Overhanging branches on the cycle path on the A40 (Image: Paul Elliott)

“This stretch of the cycle path is sloped and consequently is a fast section when travelling towards Oxford with no barriers between the cycle path and major trunk road.

“If a cyclist were to collide with this tree branch, the cyclist would fall into the traffic lane of the A40 with traffic arriving from behind with the potential for very serious injuries."

Another added: “The footpath around the pull-in at the bus stop is so overgrown that it is now almost impassable.

“This is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclist alike as it forces them to proceed onto the highway, opposite direction to the traffic flow.” 

A county council spokesman said: "Our recently adopted vegetation and verge policy outlines our approach to managing vegetation on the highway, including prioritising cycle routes and footways.

"In this particular instance, the section was cut back at the start of June which reduced the vegetation to allow for a better passage along the route.

"Following a further inspection today, the route is able to be used but it has been identified that there are some areas which will benefit from further work to the side out the path, which is above the cutting regime that we have outlined in our policy.

"This work will be commissioned and this, along with other sections of the network, will benefit from the enhanced investment which has been identified this year to improve the cycle and footway routes.

"A programme is currently being finalised and will include some minor civil work improvements along with more intense vegetation and overgrowth clearance where needed."