COUNTY councillors have given their unanimous support for improving cycling infrastructure across Oxfordshire.

Campaigners welcomed county councillors as they arrived at County Hall in Oxford today ahead of an important meeting.

A cross-party motion in support of wide-ranging improvements was given unanimous backing.

Tabled by Suzanne Bartington, a Conservative member and the council’s ‘cycling champion’, she called on the council to ‘come together and reflect’ on how changes could be made. Amongst the measures she proposed was a new 'travel network'.

Simon Hunt, of the Oxford-based Cyclox group, said although there were already committed people riding on two wheels, improved infrastructure would encourage ‘many of the unheard wannabe cyclists’ to take to the road.

That work should then enable people from ‘eight to 80’ to use bikes more, he said.

Mr Hunt also said he wanted the council to back ‘jam-busting, pollution-busting and poor-quality-busting’ bike projects.

In a Government-backed report delivered earlier this year, cycling expert Andrew Gilligan said Oxford should be given £150m funding to improve its infrastructure for bikes.

Nearly a fifth of people cycle to work, university or school in Oxford. At 19 per cent, it is second highest proportion of any town or city in the UK after Cambridge.

Scott Urban, director of Oxfordshire Liveable Streets, said he had been ‘very impressed’ by work across the county over recent years, but encouraged the council to take ‘low hanging fruit’ with infrastructure improvements, urging fully segregated bike lanes to be installed to make cyclists feel safer.

Robin Tucker of Oxfordshire Cycling Network said German cycling rates were five times higher than the UK's, and said following the German model could cut car journeys by 10 per cent.