Let cyclists through campus, says Oxford activist

The idea came from Richard Parnham of Reconnecting Oxford, a group committed to “sustainable, data-driven solutions to public transport issues”.

He said: “I think the opening of the university campus especially for cycling and walking is an excellent idea and should be promoted.”

His proposals include allowing cyclists through Christ Church Meadow and University Parks, where bicycles are currently banned.

Mr Parnham said: “Building a short stretch of new trail on currently unused land could give you a new traffic-free walking and cycling path from Iffley Village and Rose Hill to the town center/St Aldates Lane and Christ Church via an extended meadow meadow.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Parnham said while there is currently access to campus, “this can only mean the ability to enter the campus, walk around the campus and exit via the same entrance.

“Actually, the site should become commuter routes, allowing residents to take the most direct route from one place to another.

“On several occasions the only thing preventing this is locked college gates. The paths themselves are there, but closed to local residents.

“And I think it’s absolutely right that the council is putting pressure on the university and its colleges to enable active travel in the city – especially where all the infrastructure is already in place and probably underused.”

Mr Parnham made a presentation to County Council’s cabinet in February but said the idea had been “flatly rejected”.

Oxford Mail:

However, it has since been praised on Twitter by District Councilor Damian Haywood and Councilwoman Mary Clarkson.

And City Council Vice Chairwoman Linda Smith said she had “spoke to relevant colleagues about this and hope that we will move these ideas forward as City Council soon.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Motorways Andrew Gant has told Mr Parnham he is working with officials and others on his response to the ideas.

He told him: “It was quite a far-reaching proposal and I want to act on it properly, so it’s going to take a little while.”

Mr Parnham said: “The Council is happy to take on residents and force them to change their travel behaviour.

“Why doesn’t the council show the same determination towards the university and its colleges and force them to change their behavior?”

A university spokesman said: “The university is working hard with local partners to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city of Oxford.

“Bicycle access to the University Parks has already been discussed, but the Trustees firmly believe that the main priority is to keep the University Parks a peaceful place that everyone can enjoy and a large number of people cycling there , could endanger other Parks users.”

A Christ Church spokesman said: “Christ Church wishes to preserve the Meadow as a tranquil place in the heart of Oxford where the public can enjoy its rural beauty in peace.”

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted.

This story was written by Miranda Norris who joined the team in 2021 and covers news from across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Contact her by email: [email protected] Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

Profile: Miranda Norris journalist news from the Oxford Mail


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