Oxford cycling campaign group Cyclox want cyclists to be given priority at traffic lights across the city. Cyclox chairman James Styring addressed a Bike to the Future event at Oxford Town Hall last night, and he is calling for a revised cycle network, a cycling hub and the introduction of a bike hire scheme.
The idea is to emulate facilities commonplace in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris, and Basel.
At the heart of its plans is a revised city centre cycle network, with Cyclox lobbying for money to upgrade existing routes. The group wants cyclists to be given an easier ride – with the installation of special filter traffic lights, avoiding the need to stop at some red signals.
In the city centre, the group wants to create a cycling hub where bikes could be left, securely locked and monitored by CCTV, in an area containing a repair shop. The plans would be paid for with government cash and introduced between 2011-2016.
Cyclox, which also provides cycle training and organises summer cycle rides, wants to work with Oxfordshire County Council, which is currently drawing up its third local transport plan covering the same period, and will submit a bid for government cash.
Mr Styring said in the Oxford Mail: “When you cycle around Oxford there is nothing more annoying than the road narrowing and a sign appearing saying ‘end of cycle lane’. We are in the process of drawing up a connected network around the city, without holes or barriers.
“We shouldn’t be asking cyclists to stop unnecessarily. We need to make cycling as easy and as convenient as possible. It is workable, and I am confident the next round of government money will be cyclist-friendly.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said: “The council has a close relationship with Cyclox and is aware of its aspirations. There are already dual cycle routes in some parts of Oxford with facilities on main roads and quiet routes in parallel.
“We’re happy to continue to work with Cyclox to explore what might be possible with the assistance of national funding in coming years.”
Oxfordshire County Council's third local transport plan, which will need to have been produced and submitted to Government by April 2011, will focus on delivering transport infrastructure and services to improve quality of life, and attract and support economic investment and growth.
The plan, which will govern the way transport in Oxfordshire is managed until 2030, recognises that needs and priorities vary across the county and this has resulted in an approach that breaks the county down in to four types of settlement for setting out priorities that suit different parts of Oxfordshire.
The four types of settlement are the city of Oxford, larger towns, such as Banbury and Didcot, market towns such as Henley-on-Thames, and rural Oxfordshire. As a result of consultation with parish and town councils across the county, high priorities have emerged in each of the four settlement areas.
Oxford and the larger towns shared the same high priorities to reduce congestion, and to develop and increase cycling for local journeys, recreation and health. Market towns and rural areas wanted to see improvements to the condition of local roads and cycleways, to reduce congestion, and to develop and increase cycling.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure, said: "This transport planning blueprint will be one of the most important pieces of work that the county council undertakes in the next few years.