Sustrans has begun work to improve the Oxford cycling & walking route running alongside the busy A34 between Kennington and Oxford, with the aim of reducing congestion on the main road.
Sustrans obtained funding from Highways England and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to deliver £276,000 of improvements to Route 5 on the National Cycle Network.
They are resurfacing the path and removing or modifying obstructive barriers and cattle grids, to make it far easier for people to walk or cycle into Oxford for work or leisure, instead of always relying on their cars to head into the city.
The improvements are being made between the Cowley Branch Line and Sandford Lane. The improved route will be perfectly placed to serve the new homes being developed in Kennington, so helping to mitigate increased traffic flows.
James Cleeton, Sustrans Director, England South said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Highways England and welcome this investment that will make it easier for more people to walk or cycle for their everyday journeys.
“The surface on this section of the National Cycle Network is not up to scratch and currently floods in bad weather. This work will make it possible to use the route year-round.
“Removing barriers and cattle grids will make it far easier for people on cycles, with pushchairs or using mobility aids to enjoy the benefits of active travel.
“Cycling and walking for local journeys is part of the solution to many of the challenges we face today, including road congestion, air pollution and high levels of inactivity.”
This Oxford cycling path was built 20 years ago and runs close to the mainline railway through Kennington, before joining the Thames Path into Oxford, where improvement works have been completed by Oxfordshire County Council.
The work at Kennington is planned to complete by March 2020, at which point the riverside path will have been improved all the way to Oxford city centre.