Plans for an ambitious 336-mile network of cycle routes in Oxfordshire were unveiled on Tuesday.
The Oxfordshire Cycling Network (OCN) has released a detailed map and plans outlining cycling-friendly links for all major towns, workplaces and transport hubs in the county with ‘safe, direct and attractive routes’.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
OCN estimates that creating the routes would cost in the region of £120 million and take 15 to 20 years to complete. However, they estimate that the routes would be ‘worth’ £112m per year in reduced pollution and health benefits. The amount fits in with the Parliamentary Cycling Group’s recommendation of £10 per head spent on cycling in Britain.
“Our vision is that people of all abilities can choose to cycle anywhere, feeling safe and comfortable,” said Robin Tucker, chair of OCN.
“Instead of stop-starting in traffic jams, fretting about where to park, I can bike the five miles from home to Abingdon more quickly and more predictably. Plus, I will have done my exercise for the day.”
The plan includes three grades of route – primary, secondary and tertiary – depending on how much cycling traffic they would take and their position.
Primary routes would be given the highest priority and be designed for ‘all ages, all abilities’ and based on standards used by the Dutch and Germans.
Routes in the proposed network that run alongside major roads would have a segregated cycle lane separated from the highway with a green verge. The routes in urban environments where space is limited would use ‘light segregation’.
OCN, which brings together 29 cycling and supporting organisations, says that the proposal is “a starting point for discussions with the County Council and the public about its shape, its benefits and its costs”.