PUPILS at a North Oxford school have succeeded in persuading transport bosses to make changes to a cycle route they use.

Last November Cherwell School collected the signatures of more than 600 students on a petition to divide a cycle route beside Marston Ferry Road into two lanes.

The school said that the number of pupils cycling to school was such that separate lanes were needed for clarity and safety.

It handed the petition to Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith and now the work has been done.

Teacher Tony Gray, of the Cherwell Cycling Club, said: “As a school we have campaigned for this change because we believe strongly that it will make a difference.

Our top stories

“We have a huge volume of students going down there in peak hours and our responsibility is to help facilitate that in a safe way, but it is also used more widely by many local people.

“This will make best practice that little bit clearer for everyone and help reinforce our messages about safety.”

St Margaret’s county councillor John Howson, who supported the campaign, added: “It is absolutely wonderful news and the school is already reaping the benefits with better lane discipline and more effective use of the cycle track. It will solve the problems they were having and is a good example of a small change that makes a big difference.”

The petition by the school was accompanied by a survey carried out by pupils, with results finding that the route was used by a growing number of cyclists.

Cherwell School has said about 1,300 of its 1,900 pupils cycle in for lessons every day. As well as requesting changes to the cycle route, it has been giving pupils road safety lessons and revealed last year that it was teaching them to ride in pelaton groups.

Mr Nimmo Smith said: the county council was supportive of making changes that would improve cycling routes for school pupils.

He said: “I am very pleased that common sense has prevailed and we were able to add these extra lines.

“Anything that improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists can only be a good thing and that is something the council continues to look at across the county.”

The county council is currently consulting on its new transport plan, Connecting Oxfordshire.

The authority has proposed to upgrade the Thames riverside towpath and build river crossings for better access to employment and development sites in Oxford.