THE safety of one of Bicester's busiest streets has been called into question after repeated complaints of vehicles and cyclists flouting the pedestrian zone rules.

Sheep Street, in Bicester town centre, has been a pedestrian zone for years but people are now calling for tighter rules and penalties.

Delivery vehicles are only allowed to use the street before 9am and after 4pm while blue badge holders can use it at any time.

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Cyclists, motorbikes and cars are not permitted, but despite this have been seen flouting the rules.

Residents have shared their experiences having near-misses particularly with cyclists who have whizzed through the street.

The Oxford Times:

Karen Byrne, from Bicester, said: “My three-year-old granddaughter was nearly knocked over by a bike – I just grabbed her in time. Surely we should be able to walk freely with kids without worrying about bikes.”

Dominic Hutchinson, 63, from Bicester, said he has had to dodge cyclists too, despite his right of way.

He said: “It’s more like a road than a walkway. I have nearly been struck by cyclists on several occasions. I don’t think it’s fair to expect pedestrians to have to constantly watch out for vehicles and bikes in a pedestrian area.”

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Oxfordshire County Councillor for Bicester Les Sibley said the rules needed to be better enforced and signs needed to be displayed at all points of entry to the town centre.

He said: “This has been an issue for some time and the only way to stop it is to enforce the rules. A PCSO should issue on-the-spot fines so that people - both young and old - understand that it is not to be tolerated.

The Oxford Times:

“The rules on who is allowed access to the street need to be made clearer. We plan to revitalise the town centre and encourage people to come in so everyone needs to be comfortable and know what’s expected of them.”

The bollard has also been a problem on the street too, enabling delivery vehicles to deliver out of the permitted times.

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A spokesperson from Cherwell District Council said: “The bollards on Sheep Street are our responsibility.

"We are aware of concerns about how effectively they are used and are working with our partners to find a solution.”