Marston cycle path, which links the east of Oxford to the city centre, shut on August 14 for 10 weeks for essential repair work to the Lemond and Fignon bridges.

Cyclists had raised concerns about the lack of alternative routes during this closure, with the recommended diversion adding around 3.5 miles to any journey distance.

READ MORE: Major A34 interchange to close for bridge repairs

But Oxfordshire County Council announced today that cyclists will now be able to push their bikes along a local diversion route through University Parks via High Bridge during school commuting hours.

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.

Oxford Mail: Marston cycle path closed

This route will be in place from Tuesday (September 5), 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. 

Oxford Mail: Map shows the new cycle path diversionMap shows the new cycle path diversion (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

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.” 

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Professor Alexander Betts, University of Oxford’s local and global engagement officer, added: “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.” 

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

Outside of the designated hours, cyclists will be required to use the originally suggested diversion via Marston Ferry Road.

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