A SUBWAY has been branded dangerous because it is being used by both cyclists and pedestrians.

Cyclists passing through the underpass, which leads underneath the Green Road roundabout connecting Headington with the Risinghurst estate, do not have to get off their bikes but there are signs suggesting they do.

At the moment there is a blue advisory sign advising cyclists to dismount, but police say not doing so is not illegal.

Headington Quarry resident Lee Kitney, 39, said: “Cyclists don’t stop enough of the time, even if you have got a pushchair or a pram.

“They go through quite quickly.”

Headington resident Stuart Cooper said he and his wife had had a number of near misses when walking through the subway and had brought this up with a police community support officer in the area.

He said: “I mentioned that despite there being signs at the entrances to each of the tunnels asking cyclists to dismount, very few got off their bikes and walked through.

“He and I then agreed that it didn’t make sense that it was illegal to ride on pavements but not underneath subways, where due to the close proximity of cyclists and pedestrians there is even more risk of accidents.”

In 2010 Oxfordshire County Council filled in the London Road subway in the centre of Headington on the grounds that it would be safer to provide an on-street pedestrian crossing.

Risinghurst and Sandhills parish councillor Derek Taylor said the Green Road subway caused no problems.

He said: “I wouldn’t want to head around the roundabout on a bike, so unless they are going to find somewhere else for the cyclists to go they will have to use the subway.

“For most adults I don’t think it is a problem but then you get the young children who just take advantage of it.”

Richard Mann, of cycling campaign group Cyclox , said the subway formed part of the route between Thornhill Park and Ride and the John Radcliffe Hospital .

He said: “There is no point trying to ban people from cycling through it because they will just do it anyway.

“I think it is better for people to learn to live with one another and be considerate.”

Thames Valley Police has said it is a matter for the county council about whether cyclists can or cannot cycle through the subway.

County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “The only effective way of physically making cyclists dismount when they reach the subway would be to install barriers.

“Unfortunately this would also mean that anyone using a wheelchair, pushchair or mobility scooter would not be able to get through.

“We would call on cyclists to consider the safety of other people and obey the signs.”