BUILDING work has started at a £100 million development in Bicester.

The 300,000 sq ft site just off the A41, called Catalyst Bicester, will be home to a new sustainable business community made up of stand-alone buildings and a wetland nature reserve.

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It will also include a David Lloyd Health and Racquets Club and, according to developers Albion Land, will provide workspace for up to 1,750 new jobs.

The first four technology buildings will range in size from 10,000 sq ft to 22,000 sq ft and be ready for businesses to occupy them in early 2022.

But cycling campaigners are concerned that pedestrians and cyclists will not be able to access the site safely under the new road layout.

Bicester Advertiser: Illustration of what cycle and pedestrian path will look like accessing the site

George Bennett, chairman of Bicester Bike Users' Group, said walking or riding to the development has been made 'too inconvenient' and that there is a 'huge problem' with the roundabout at the entrance to the site.

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He said: "Paths to the development are narrow and shared with pedestrians. This is no longer accepted as good practice because it discriminates against disabled and vulnerable pedestrians, and walkers do not like to share space with faster moving cycles.

"Though we specifically asked for the paths to be widened and segregated to comply with current standards, the developer refused."

The group says work that has been done so far on site is 'sub-standard' and that a shared path has been built in 'zigzags around the street lights, rather than relocating them'.

Bicester Advertiser: Bicester footpath near Catalyst Bicester

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Simon Parsons, director at Albion Land said: “Our focus now is to complete the highway works to ensure that the project is connected to the cycle, foot and bus network and to construct the first phase of technology buildings to respond to the high demand in the area from knowledge-based businesses.”

He previously stressed that more than 600m of 'new or upgraded' cycle paths will be provided along Wendlebury Road and the A41 with cycle priority at junctions and accesses.

He also said the new roundabout was 'designed with cyclists in mind'.

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