Approval has been granted for a new shared-use footway and cycle track on a key road into Oxford city centre despite concerns it may be too narrow.

Highways chief Andrew Gant signed off on the measures for conversion of the footway on the east side of the A4144 Woodstock Road between the A40 Wolvercote Roundabout and Blandford Avenue at a county council meeting on Thursday.

A council report states: "The proposals will help facilitate cycling and the safe movement of pedal cyclists in the area."

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But the Oxford Pedestrians Association objected, saying the plan "flies in the face of the policy of putting pedestrians and wheelchair users at the top of the Road Users' Hierarchy", would further discourage walking and wheeling on "this already hostile corner" and "increase tensions between cyclists and pedestrians".

Oxford Mail: Wolvercote Roundabout, Woodstock Road.Wolvercote Roundabout, Woodstock Road. (Image: Google Maps.)

It added: "The pavement is far too narrow at this point to be shared-use.

"Space should be allowed that gives two wheelchair users room to pass one another in safety and dignity."

Local cycling campaign group, 'Cyclox', also expressed concerns that the proposals did not meet national guidance on cycle provision, with some of the route being under 3m in width.

Oxfordshire County Council says the new cycle way will address a "current gap in provision for cyclists" on the stretch of the A4144 road.

A resident of Stratfield Road in Oxford said: "Regardless of the designation of the space, people cycling will use the full width available (including the pedestrian area) to avoid cycling right next to motor traffic, and to overtake one another, while people walking will use the cycle space if they want to walk two abreast."

One resident of Woodstock Road in Oxford added: "It is already extremely hazardous for residents of houses on the East side of the Woodstock road in the affected area to drive safely out of our driveways and cross the pavement to access the road because of cyclists speeding along the path without looking for cars as they leave front driveways."

Oxford Mail: Cyclists on Woodstock Road.Cyclists on Woodstock Road.

They claimed: "Even without a marked cycle path cyclists do not look out for emerging vehicles and many become extremely aggressive and offensive if they have to stop, slow down or swerve in order to avoid cars that they have not taken care to avoid."

But one resident of Catherine Street in Oxford, who expressed their support for the plan, said: "The area is heavily used by cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

"It is very important to try and maintain all groups safe."

A council officer stated typical dimensions available for pedestrians would match existing provision on the east and west sides of the road which was originally provided in 1993 and has "served as a well-used amenity of particular benefit to less confident cyclists".

One resident of Catherine Street in Oxford simply said: "Something again that should be stopped."