Riverside route cycle project

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


The third section of works, from Donnington Bridge to the A423 Eastern Bypass overbridge, was completed on the 12 October 2018.

Works to clear vegetation on the next phase of works, from the A423 Eastern Bypass overbridge to Hinksey Stream, started on Monday 15 October. This will be followed by the main works which will last for seven weeks up to 30 November 2018. This remains subject to any bad weather or unforeseen circumstances arising during construction.  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. The diversion route is shown on the attached plan.

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.

Buff coloured surfacing, subject to funding, will be completed in spring 2019 to the section of towpath from Donnington Bridge all the way to Hinksey Stream.

Detailed design is currently being undertaken for works to Willow Walk and the Bulstake Steam Bridge to the west of Oxford which are programmed for delivery in 2019.  Feasibility works on a new Oxpens pedestrian and cycle bridge remain ongoing and will be delivered separately from the towpath and route improvement works.

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.

The towpath improvement works aim to improve the surface quality and provide a 3 metre wide, where possible, shared use path along key sections of the towpath including Willow Walk.


We have been awarded £3.3m of funding through the Department of Transports Cycle City Ambition programme. A further £364k has been recently awarded from Growth Deal funds towards Oxford Wide Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements.The project proposals and budget comprise two key elements:

  • Oxpens Pedestrian/Cyclist Bridge £2m
  • Thames Towpath and West Oxford route improvements - £1.664M