Warneford Lane: still a problem for cyclists

To: Oxford Mail

From Hazel Dawe, 53 Bulan Road, Oxford OX3 7HU – 18th July 2020

Tel 07944471083

Dear Editor

All credit to Katherine Miles for her courage in cycling along Warneford Lane with her children.(Oxford Mail 18 July) Warneford Lane is, indeed, dangerous for cyclists and the highways authority is well aware of the problem. I have been nearly car doored there, knocked off my bike by a driver thoughtlessly opening the car door as I cycled past. I know of others who have been.

But there is a solution, one which I have put forward to several council consultations. Warneford Lane is a dual carriageway. All it needs is one carriageway to become two way for traffic and the other carriageway two way for bicycles.

The open question is whether to include diagonal parking for cars on the cycling carriageway, with a very low speed limit, probably 5mph, or to have no parking at all. I don’t know who parks on Warneford Lane and why. Is it people who work at the Warneford Hospital?

The hospitals own master plan states that they will ‘ensure that the parking needs of those staff , patients, visitors and service provider who have no realistic option to using the care are considered and where feasible accommodated’ 1) In which case, presumably, the cars parked in Warneford Lane are not related to the hospital. The question remains whether that parking is necessary or whether Warneford Lane can be made truly safe for cycling.

Yours faithfully

Hazel Dawe

Challenging the County on Active Travel

TO: letters pages, Oxford Mail

From: Steve Dawe, COWLEY AREA TRANSPORT GROUP – www.catg.org.uk

8th July 2020

Dear Editor,

Oxfordshire County Council has missed out on £300,000 of funding for cycling (Oxford Mail, 7th July). However, there is a wider concern. The County Council’s consultation on Active Travel (walking and cycling) does not inspire confidence either: https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/OxfordshireActiveTransport

This consultation actually includes reference to cars and motorbikes which have nothing to do with Active Travel. There are no accompanying questions to ask the public about the importance of Active Travel in relation to health promotion, the Climate Emergency, reducing air pollution, cutting traffic congestion or protecting people from noise. There is a major failure to encourage thinking about how the County needs proper walking and cycling networks covering the County as a whole. Active Travel is, above all, about quality of life and this has not registered with the County Council yet.

The consultation is so poor it should be withdrawn and replaced with something which stresses the importance of Active Travel.

The County Council should, at the very least: ensure more funds for Active Travel by extending or creating pedestrian and pedestrian priority areas in towns and cities and promoting electric car hire rather than car ownership. It should spend more on this than on new road-building, road widening, road bridges etc;

The results of such initiatives would be cleaner air, less noise and much more attractive communities to work, shop and take leisure in than at present.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Dawe