Labour councillors have welcomed Oxford City Council's announcement that it has installed public bike pumps at five locations across Oxford.
The bike pumps, which provide free air for cyclists, have been installed in Broad Street, St Michael’s Street, Magdalen Bridge, Cowley Road (opposite Tesco) and Summertown (outside HSBC).
Labour Councillor Louise Upton, Oxford City Council’s Cycling Champion, said: “Our long-term ambition is to significantly increase the number of people commuting to work by bike, to help reduce air pollution and congestion. That is not something that can be done overnight; it is about incremental steps that make it more convenient for people to cycle – and installing these bike pumps is an example of that.”
The pumps, which cost £13,000, have been variously funded:
- Broad Street: Paid for by Freeths Solicitors; organised by Cyclox
- Cowley Road: Paid for by Councillor Dick Wolff from his CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) budget
- Magdalen Bridge: Paid for by Councillor David Thomas from his CIL budget
- Summertown and St Michael’s: Paid for by the City Council from its Cycle Oxford budget
The City Council, which is responsible for street furniture, will maintain the pumps.
The Magdalen Bridge bike pump includes a poem, Late Fragment by Raymond Carver, dedicated to Claudia Comberti. The poem was chosen by her friends.
The dedication reads:
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
Dedicated to the memory of Claudia Comberti by her friends 2017
The City Council’s £367,000 Cycle Oxford budget was created in 2012 to improve cycling infrastructure across Oxford. Work has included installing new signage to direct cyclists toward cycle-friendly routes, cycle training, and the removal of barriers on the cycling network.
In July, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council unveiled new signs that proclaim Oxford “a cycling city” on all the roads entering the city as a statement of intent.
The County Council and City Council are currently working on a Transport Vision for 2050 with the National Infrastructure Commission that will set the ambition for Oxford and the surrounding areas have world class cycling routes.
Last month, London cycling adviser Andrew Gilligan visited Oxford. He has been tasked by the National Infrastructure Commission to work with local councils and organisations to create a vision of what is required for cycling to become a “super attractive” mode of transport in Oxford.
Simon Hunt, Chair of Cyclox, said: “We are pleased to bring together Freeths and the City Council to get a bike pump in Broad Street, and delighted that this has meant four other pumps have been installed throughout Oxford.
“Helping people to cycle in Oxford will involve big headline infrastructure projects and but also smaller things that make life easier for people on bikes. Together we will build a real cycling culture in our city.”
Sarah Foster, Managing Partner at Freeths Solicitors’ Oxford Office said: "Many of our staff are keen cyclists and choose to cycle to work as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. We want to assist in making Oxford a safer place for people to cycle. We are also keen to look at opportunities to enhance the cycling experience for those who cycle to and from work.
“Cyclox helped us identify a need for the placement of a permanent public cycle pump on Broad Street. We funded the project and the City Council kindly agreed to maintain its upkeep. We really hope that all of Oxford’s cycle users will benefit from it.”