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Jack Straw’s Lane between Marston and Headington has new £70k scheme - but not everyone is convinced it'll work...

Oxford County Council has spent £70,000 on a new style of road markings that it hopes will encourage motorists to give cyclists more room.

Jack Straw’s Lane between Marston and Headington has been transformed with buff markings on the road, which divide the lane either into cycle lanes or pedestrian areas.

It's an area that has long reported cars travelling too fast - and it's hoped that the new style of road markings will encourage them to stay behind cyclists rather than trying to overtake.

Residents of the road wanted it to be access-only, but police decided it would be too difficult to enforce, given the convenience of the route to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The speed limit on the lane is only 20mph, but cars are regularly found to be going significantly faster in police checks.

Simon Hunt, of Oxford cycling campaign group Cyclox, told the Oxford Mail: “It is quite a novel way of doing it.

“I don’t know of anywhere else where they have done this.

“They are clearly trying to use psychology to make drivers go slowly but we will have to see whether drivers who haven’t been confronted with this before actually do.

“It is too early to say whether this can be rolled out across other parts of the city.”

Residents are sceptical as to the difference the road markings might make though.

Jack Straw’s Lane resident Roger Evans said: “I would say cars are going at exactly the same speed.

I don’t think anybody will know what on earth it is for and they will just carry on as they did before.

“I don’t think the cyclists have been educated as to what it is and nor have the motorists.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.