New cycle track to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Cycle track from Gardiner Street

The new cycle track (above and below) from the bottom of Gardiner Street
to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre is now open

Cycle track to NOC

Below are pictures taken in 2006 of the abandoned playground used for this path

Gardiner Street recreation ground entrance

Gardiner Street recreation ground

Play equipment in 1987


The city council built Mattock Close on the former site of Mattock’s Roses in 1983, and the estate included a small playground (shown left in September 1987).

The playground fell into disuse, the equipment was taken away, and the site was empty for many years. As there was only one entrance/exit, it was no longer considered suitable for use by children.

So a cycle track through this piece of land to provide a safe route to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre from the London Road via New High Street/Kennett Road and Gardiner Street.


Below is a notice sent out when the idea was at an early stage.

Proposal for Gardiner Street Recreation Ground to be transformed
into a quiet garden for the use of NOC patients as well as local residents,
together with a cycle path linking the hospital and the immediate area

Residents are reminded that this area has been the subject of numerous ideas in recent years to try and establish a facility that would benefit the neighbourhood. With the recent changes in policy for safety conditions in play areas it is no longer possible for this area to be re-established as an area solely for children. The Residents Association have consulted the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital and Oxford City Council to try and establish a facility that would benefit the two areas in addition to providing the cycle path that had already been designated in the Local Plan.

Further details of the proposal are outlined below.

A scheme for a cycle route providing a link into the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre from Gardiner Street as shown in the Oxford Local Plan 2001–2016 has been included in the City Council’s Capital Programme totalling £22K.

The scheme is funded from developer contributions arising from development at:

  • Mayfair Ward, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Windmill Road – redevelopment of hospital buildings
  • 72-74 Old Road, Headington – demolition of 72 and 74 Old Road and erection of 91 units of key worker residential accommodation.

As part of the planning permission dated 15/12/2000 the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre are to provide a gated access into the hospital from Gardiner Street recreation ground.

To facilitate the route, it is proposed to grant a lease of the site to Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (initially for a term of 10 years at a rent of £1 per year), whereby NOC will become responsible for the future upkeep of the site (including the cycle route, fencing and landscaping etc) as a landscaped amenity area. A gate onto Gardiner Street will be provided and controlled by the NOC (a condition in their planning permission dated 15/12/2000), allowing access to the NOC site for cyclists and pedestrians, and also to the amenity area. It is envisaged that access will be during daylight hours only, to protect the security of both the NOC and local residents.

All the legal conditions have now been completed and this proposal will come before the North East Area Committee for their approval on Tuesday 18th July at 6pm at Cheney Community Centre.

Local residents who have an interest in or concern about this scheme are encouraged to attend this meeting so all points of view are heard before final permission is granted.

(from New Headington Residents’ Association)

© Stephanie Jenkins


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