Riverside route cycle project | Oxfordshire County Council

Riverside route cycle project

Project to develop off-road quieter cycle routes to provide alternatives to the main road network.

Why are we doing this?

The 'Riverside route to city centre' scheme aims to improve off road pedestrian and cycle links between residential areas and Oxford city centre. 

The improvements will help to connect existing and planned future major city centre sites including Westgate, Oxpens and Osney Mead with some of the city’s largest residential areas via an attractive sustainable travel route.

Problems that prevent more cycling and walking will be overcome by providing improved and largely traffic-free connections to Oxford city centre.

These proposed improvements were identified through the council’s work on the fourth Local Transport Plan.


We have been awarded £3.3m of funding through the Department of Transports Cycle City Ambition programme.  The project proposals and budget comprise two key elements:

  • Oxpens Pedestrian/Cyclist Bridge £2m
  • Thames Towpath and West Oxford route improvements - £1.3M


Numerous lengths of emergency river bank repairs were completed adjacent to the towpath in 2017 on the section between Donnington Bridge and Folly Bridge.

A consultation with stakeholders was completed in summer 2017 to seek views on proposals to widen and resurface various sections of towpath and  between;

  • Thames Towpath  - Southern bypass and Osney Mead
  • Willow Walk – North Hinksey and Osney Mead

The consultation responses were used to establish a priority list of measures with a view to rolling out delivery from early 2018. The works aim to improve the surface quality and provide a 3m wide shared use path along key sections of the towpath and Willow Walk.

Construction works on the first section of the towpath, from Donnington Bridge to Folly Bridge, are programmed to start on Monday 12 March 2018 and last for up to 10 weeks. Working hours will be 7.30am to  4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The towpath will need to be closed in order to carry out this work safely and a signed diversion route will be put in place. To keep disruption to a minimum, the project has been split into two phases; Donnington Bridge to University College Boat House and University College Boat House to Folly bridge.

Every effort will be made to accommodate essential access to the towpath, properties and businesses adjacent to the works area but this will be subject to progress.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused. However, we will do our utmost to complete this work as safely and as quickly as possible.

Works to adjacent priority sections will follow on from this initial construction phase and this page will be updated with details of those in due course.

Subsequent sections of improvement works to the towpath and Willow Walk will follow completion of the first phase of work.

Feasibility works on a new Oxpens pedestrian and cycle bridge are currently underway and will be delivered separately from the towpath and route improvement works.

Last reviewed
07 March 2018
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