A major cycling route into Oxford is due to be closed for 10 weeks - with the county council encouraging cyclists to plan alternative routes.

The Marston cycle path will be closed for 10 weeks from August 14 to allow for essential refurbishment to Lemond and Fignon cycle bridges.

These bridges carry Marston cycle path over two arms of the River Cherwell and to the south of University Parks.

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Oxford Mail: Lemond Cycle BridgeLemond Cycle Bridge (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

Andrew Gant, county councillor and cabinet member for highway management said closing the bridge was “the last thing” the council wanted to do but it had “no choice”.

He said: “Full refurbishment of the bridge is required to avoid the risk of emergency closures in the future and to safeguard the use of the cycle path for many years to come.

“We appreciate how inconvenient this will be for users so both bridges will be refurbished at the same time to reduce the length of the closure, and we will reopen the cycle path as soon as possible if the work is completed sooner than anticipated.”

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It is understood that the deck on Fignon Cycle Bridge will be replaced due to the existing structure being in poor condition and Mr Gant said this “poses a risk to cyclists and pedestrians using the bridge, and boaters passing beneath it”.

The council has said alternative cycle routes are available via Magdalen Bridge, which is the shortest route, and via Marston Ferry Road, which has segregated cycle paths.

The closure of the cycle route comes after the council refused to accept Nicole Rahimi‘s request – the organiser of the Oxford Christmas Market- for the cycle route in Broad Street to be closed due to her fears about the risks of a “high speed collision” between visitors and cyclists.

The county council leases Marston cycle path and the two bridges from Oxford University.

The council has responsibility for the maintenance of these bridges and the university has agreed to the work.