Sounding hollow

Between Headington and Temple Cowley lies Hollow Way, a stretch of road that’s straight enough to be Roman, and used as a rat-run by those who can’t quite make it that extra few hundred yards to the ring road.

Down the length of Hollow Way is a cycle lane. This is a thick, welcoming cycle lane; it has to be broad because the road has a vicious camber which drags a cycle wheel inexorably towards the kerb if one gets too close. However, because it’s so thick—almost thick enough to provide a cyclist with the legal minimum of space when a car overtakes it—then it suffers at the various traffic islands and turn-right lanes that are dotted along the road. The cycle lane is halved whenever room is required for cars to veer away from the centre of the road. However, the car lanes themselves are barely touched, staying a good bus-width all the way along. Cyclists are expected to feel alternately cramped and freed, while drivers have plenty of room in the main lane of the road.

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