An experiment will result in cyclists using a main town road in Oxfordshire despite concerns around safety and suggestions the route is too narrow.

Sheep Street in Bicester will be the subject of the decision at a 10am county council transport management meeting on Thursday where highways chief Andrew Gant is recommended to approve an ETO (Experimental Traffic Order) to give cyclists access.

The ETO would last for six months before a decision is made on whether cycling should be permitted permanently.

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Conservative town councillor for the Bicester East ward, Donna Ford, said: "I am disappointed but not surprised to see that cycling in Sheep Street is due for approval despite 65 per cent of those who have responded being against the ETO.

Oxford Mail: Donna Ford on Sheep Street with fellow Conservative town councillor Michael Waine.Donna Ford on Sheep Street with fellow Conservative town councillor Michael Waine. (Image: Contribution.)

"I have concerns that many issues need addressing before this can be considered sufficiently.

"None of the concerns raised have been answered.

"These included Bicester Friday market and events, the current abuse of Sheep Street by vehicles which is not being enforced by the county council, how will cyclists safely enter and exit Sheep Street given the market square is one way and could require a turn in the middle to enter.

"There are also concerns raised by Unlimited Oxfordshire who represent our most vulnerable residents."

Thames Valley Police (TVP) says in its consultation response that the question of a cycling on Sheep Street is a "tricky one" because it seems the council are "only trying to formalise what is the norm".

Oxford Mail: Sheep Street in Bicester.Sheep Street in Bicester. (Image: Google Maps.)

The spokesman added: "Allowing this could set a precedent for other similar locations.

"Dare I suggest Queen Street in Oxford.

"This location has been the source of misuse by cyclists for many decades despite the restriction and also a burden on use."

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman previously said: "The information received from this public consultation will be used to help decide whether the scheme is made permanent or not after the 18-month trial period has ended.

"Additionally, it should be noted that the scheme can be amended at any time during its operation and even ended early should officers feel that necessary.”

Oxford Mail: Vehicles on Sheep Street.Vehicles on Sheep Street. (Image: Contribution.)

Not everyone is against the Sheep Street experiment with a spokesman for the Bicester Bike Users' Group saying: "If we don't give it a go, it's hard to know how well it will work. We feel that many of the concerns raised will prove unfounded.

"For much of the week the footfall is light and Sheep Street's layout provides space for all users to circulate in safety.

"The current prohibition to cycling is rarely enforced, and therefore disregarded by less responsible users.

"The main objection currently seems to be a concern for safety, however large trucks, vans and cars regularly drive along the street unenforced.”

The TVP spokesman added: "This is probably one of those proposals that will split public opinion."