Additional route made available for cyclists during Marston cycle path closure

Cyclists will be able to push their bicycles along a local diversion route through University Parks via High Bridge during school commuting hours, while Marston cycle path in Oxford is closed for bridge refurbishment works.

The additional diversion route has been agreed following extensive liaison between Oxfordshire County Council, the University of Oxford, and Oxford City Council.

Cyclists may dismount and walk their bikes through University Parks between High Bridge – often known locally as Rainbow Bridge – and Cox’s Corner, in the south-east corner of the park.

The local diversion will be made available to dismounted cyclists during school commuting hours – 7am - 9am and 3pm - 5pm, Mondays to Fridays. This route will be in place from Tuesday 5 September when schools return.

Outside these hours, cyclists will not be permitted within University Parks whether dismounted or otherwise.

Dismounted cyclists will only be able to use the designated route, which will be marshalled by volunteers during the hours of operation. Cyclists will not be permitted in other areas of University Parks at any other time.

The route is intended primarily for use by school children, but all members of the public are welcome to use it during the periods when marshals are present.

Marston cycle path has been closed since 14 August when Oxfordshire County Council began essential refurbishment work to Lemond and Fignon cycle bridges. Work is progressing as planned and the closure is estimated to last until 23 October.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It’s excellent news that a solution has been found to make it safer for cyclists, especially schoolchildren, to continue to be able to use their bikes while Marston cycle path is closed for essential repairs.”

Professor Alexander Betts, University of Oxford’s Local and Global Engagement Officer, said: “We are delighted that the university and the councils have been able to work together to find a practical solution. It’s important that we support school children and other vulnerable cyclists to be able to get around our city safely.

“We’ve tried to balance this against respecting University Parks’ no-cycling rules, which we know are incredibly important for the many pedestrians who use the Parks.”

These arrangements will be reviewed after two weeks, to assess usage and compliance with conditions.

Outside school commuting hours, alternative cycle routes are available via Magdalen Bridge, which is the shortest route, and via Marston Ferry Road which uses quiet roads and segregated cycle paths.

Mesopotamia Walk will remain open to pedestrians during daylight hours as usual. This route is not appropriate for bikes and cyclists are urged not to use it.

The council leases Marston cycle path and the two bridges from owners the University of Oxford. Under this agreement, the council is responsible for the maintenance of the bridges and the work is being carried in agreement with the university.

Anyone wishing to volunteer their services as a marshal can fill in the forms online.

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