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Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 10:41 UK
Dual bike lane proposal in Oxford
Dual cycling routes in Oxford
It is hoped the dual lanes will encourage more people to take up cycling in Oxford

Oxford has the second highest level of cycling in the UK after Cambridge, but radical plans are afoot to improve the experience.

James Styring chair of cycling group Cyclox has proposed a dual cycling network with both slow and fast routes.

"Cycling will transform the city centre of Oxford now we have lower speeds, more congestion and higher fuel prices," he said.

"Increasingly people are going to turn to two wheels."

Mr Styring revealed a map at the 'Bike to the Future' event at the Town Hall on 29 September, as part of the Pedal Power exhibition at the Oxford Museum.

The proposal took on board successful initiatives from Northern Europe.

"I think the 20mph scheme in Oxford will help to make people feel - and actually be - safer on the road," Mr Styring told BBC Oxford.

"There's a lot more that can be done in terms of segregated cycle tracks and cycle routes that are connected up and don't stop when you least need them to.

"It's about having a really considered and connected up cycle network that's good for both fast cyclists who want to get to work quickly and slower cyclists - perhaps kids going to school or elderly people cycling to the shops.

"Having a dual cycling network would make a really big difference."

Fellow campaigner Richard Mann agreed: "It's mostly all there already, these quiet routes do exist.

"It's more than 10 years now that we've had that cycle route across the parks over to Marston.

"That's the sort of thing that really sparked this idea off, that you've got the quiet route across the meadows or you've got the main roads.

"If you want to have lots of people cycling you need both."

Champion

Cycling has a long illustrious history in Oxford.

The hand operated Velociman tricycle was invented in the city and produced for 40 years with Lewis Carroll as one of its biggest advocates.

Then William Morris, who started out as a champion cyclist, opened up a bicycle shop before his successes in the motor industry.

"If you look at photos of Oxford in the 1960s, cycling was an everyday activity for people everywhere," explained Mr Styring.

"Increasingly as we've got wealthier we've abandoned the bicycle.

"I think in the future there's going to be much more competition for space on the roads.

"Bikes are such a quick way of getting around.

"You can avoid hitting congestion.

"Increasingly people are going to want and need to cycle."

Territorial

If the public support is there and the new measures are put in place drivers and cyclists may need to be a little more mindful of each other, said Mr Styring.

"The reality is most cyclists are perfectly decent and law abiding users of the road", he said.

"Cyclists are more vulnerable on their bikes and aren't contributing to congestion or global warming… they probably need to be given more of a chance and encouraged more than car drivers.

Mr Mann supported this view: "We're the ones helping reduce pollution and some of the accidents.

"We have one of the lowest numbers of people driving into town of any city in the UK and it does make it a more pleasant place."




SEE ALSO
Pedal Power at The Oxford Museum
05 Sep 09 |  Arts & Culture
Oxford to become Electric City
09 Sep 09 |  Nature & Outdoors

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