Oxford’s well-trodden Marston cycle lane, which provides a vital link between Marston and the city centre, has reopened. Notably, the refurbishment efforts have culminated two weeks earlier than originally planned.
Essential repair works were carried out on the Fignon Cycle bridge due to the previous structure’s deteriorating state, which posed potential dangers to both cyclists and pedestrians. The renovation was also crucial for the safety of boaters navigating below the bridge.
Similarly, significant repairs were performed on the Lemond footbridge. The bridge underwent a replacement of its deck and parapets, which had shown substantial wear and tear over time. Further, to ensure a smoother experience for joggers, modifications were made to stiffen and strengthen the parapet, reducing its bounce.
Councillor Andrew Gant, who oversees Transport Management for the Oxfordshire County Council, remarked on the completion: “The fact that Marston cycle path has opened two weeks ahead of schedule is excellent news for those who use it. We are all glad to see it back and in an improved condition.”
This significant maintenance effort was long overdue, marking the first of its kind since the cycle path’s construction over three decades ago. While the path remained inaccessible during its refurbishment, which began on 14 August, a diversion was put in place. Cyclists could traverse through University Parks, especially during school commuting times. However, with the reopening of Marston’s cycle lane, this diversion will no longer be operational, restricting the wheeling of bikes through University Parks.
The alternative route was established through a collaborative effort involving the Oxfordshire County Council, the University of Oxford, and the Oxford City Council.
Expressing his gratitude for the teamwork, Cllr Gant stated: “I want to thank Oxford University, Oxford City Council and the volunteer marshals for their help in creating a safe alternative route during the closure. It was a huge success and very well used by parents and children as well as people going to work, and a fantastic example of collaboration.”
The responsibility for the upkeep of the Marston cycle path and its associated bridges, which are owned by Oxford University, falls on the county council, following a lease agreement between the two parties. The recent maintenance and repair work was conducted in line with this agreement.
Written by: Hamish Law
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