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Villagers push for cycle path to Islip
RESIDENTS in an Oxfordshire village have said they would strongly support the development of a cycle path into Oxford.
The Islip Village Plan, which was distributed to residents last weekend, showed that 240 residents wanted the path.
Residents also suggested they would like Islip connected to other places such as Kidlington, Summertown, Bicester and Water Eaton by a cycle path.
The village plan, which was first raised at the parish meeting in spring 2011, with the guidance of the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC), sets out “some realistic actions” and “some of the issues” faced by villagers.
A questionnaire was distributed to every household in autumn last year and 233 completed forms were collected (84 per cent).
Chairman of Islip Parish Council Alison Mitchell said: “Cycling was certainly something that people expressed lots of interest about.
“I have two young children and we take our lives in our own hands when we cycle from the village. It would be a great idea to have a cycle lane.”
Keen cyclist Nick Hedges, of Wheatley Road, added: “When I cycle from Islip through Woodeaton cars are in a hurry and get frustrated and there’s been a number of times when there has nearly been a crash.”
Parish council vice-chairman Johanna Stephenson said: “There is a huge amount of support for a cycle path in Islip.
“It would now need to be taken on by enthusiasts and interested people and would require funding.”
The other major issue for residents was the volume and speed of cars passing through the village, as well as pedestrian access and safety.
A traffic survey by the transport monitoring officer of Oxfordshire County Council from January 10-16 last year showed that 38,200 vehicles crossed Islip bridge and 700 vehicles per hour passed through the village during peak periods.
Of the 413 respondents to the road traffic questions in the questionnaire, 83 per cent believed that traffic is a problem in Islip.
The traffic on Islip bridge was a real concern for 333 residents in Islip, with 100 per cent of the 139 respondents from the area south of the bridge referring to this.
Villagers were particularly concerned about the safety of pedestrians on the bridge, particularly during busy times of the day.
Mike Clarke, 66, a long-term resident of Wheatley Road, has long campaigned to improve safety on the bridge.
He said: “It’s very dangerous on the bridge as there is not a proper footpath. We get clipped by car mirrors and even get abuse from drivers.
“Not long ago a lady knocked on my door to say she had been given foul-mouthed abuse on the bridge.”
Respondents made various suggestions to improve safety on the bridge, including the installation of traffic lights, street lighting, a raised pedestrian path and guardrails.
There were 67 comments in support of a new pedestrian bridge. But this is unlikely to become a reality with estimated costs in the region of £500,000.
Islip lies six miles to the northeast of Oxford and was the birthplace of Edward the Confessor (around 1005) and the site of the Battle of Islip Bridge on April 23, 1645.
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