Oxfordshire County Council has announced a series of long-term plans to permanently increase the number of cycleways across the county.
The popularity of cycling has soured since lockdown began in March and the council has since expressed determination to build on this trend to ensure that the reduced air pollution seen during lockdown can be sustained going forward.
To do this, the county council has announced a series of plans that will be funded thanks to a £2.9m two-stage government grant to transform cycling pathways in order to support more active and healthy travel.
The active travel fund will allow Oxfordshire to address some of the key factors that currently deter people from cycling.
These include improving road safety by prioritising road space for bikes, improving signage and road markings for cycle lanes, and creating more cycle parking.
The next stage of the funding will also include more 20mph zones to improve road safety where residents want them.
As part of the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan, the county council is also working with district and city councils on a series of infrastructure plans. Didcot, Bicester and Oxford will be the first locations to benefit from them.
The plans will mean a cycle network for each town, with numbered cycle routes, including links to villages and towns within easy cycling distance.
Cllr Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for Environment, said: ‘The active travel grant will help us get the county back to work, school and leisure. But it is just one part of an ambitious programme of activity to increase cycling, walking and active travel overall.
‘Our focus on supporting active transport options through a major upgrade in our cycling infrastructure will improve people’s health and wellbeing whilst helping us as a county attain our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
‘It is part of our commitment to creating a sustainable and resilient future for Oxfordshire as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis. We will build Oxfordshire back better.’
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