Cowley Marsh Recreation Ground Cycle Improvements

Image showing new cycle path in Marsh Park

Oxfordshire County Council has funding to deliver improvements to pedestrian and cycling routes. A proportion of the funding has been provided to Oxford City Council to deliver schemes within the city. One scheme identified is the provision of a new shared footpath/cyclepath at Cowley Marsh Recreation Ground.

There is a currently a route which runs between the access from Marsh Road car park and then across the park to Barracks Lane. This is used by both pedestrians and cyclists, however the width of the path is not adequate for all users to comfortably pass one another.

The proposals will provide a new all-weather footpath/cyclepath which is wide enough for pedestrians and cyclists to use at the same time. This route will follow the existing path to the basketball/tennis courts with two new sections included for the most direct routes to connect into Barracks Lane.

The entrance to the park from Marsh Road car park will be retained and widened, alongside two new accesses from Barracks Lane.

Consultation has been undertaken with a number of key stakeholders, as well as Oxford City Council officers regarding trees and ecology within the playing fields.

The consultation opened on Monday 5 December 2022 and closed on Sunday 18 December 2022.

Plan of cycle improvements at Cowley Marsh Recreation Ground

Cowley Marsh park cycle improvement proposal

What Happens Next?

Oxford Direct Services and their consultant Stantec will review the responses and where appropriate make amendments to the scheme. As the scheme is proposed under permitted development, a planning application will not be required.

Oxford Direct Services would want to deliver the scheme as soon as possible following the consultation, to ensure the public can benefit from this new facility at the earliest opportunity.

Cowley Marsh Recreation Ground scheme summary

The new path will enter the park through the existing access at Marsh Road car park and across the field using the existing route and two new accesses to meet Barracks Lane.

We currently anticipate losing one low quality (Category C) tree, subject to detail design.Replacement trees will be provided nearby to compensate.


  • Provision of a dedicated route for pedestrians and cyclists through the park.
  • A more comfortable route to cross the park, providing a suitable surface for all weather use.
  • Ties in with local cycling network and signed cycle routes.
  • Encourages greater use of the playing fields and promotes active travel.
  • Designating the path officially as a cycletrack.
Image showing new cycle path in Marsh Park