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Cowley Road, Oxford

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Cowley Road is an arterial road in the city of Oxford, England, running southeast from near the city centre at The Plain near Magdalen Bridge, through the inner city area of East Oxford, and to the industrial suburb of Cowley3 The central shopping is at 51°44′46″N 1°13′55″W / 51746°N 1232°W / 51746; -1232

Cowley Road is also the main shopping street of east Oxford, and in the evenings it is the area's main leisure district

Cowley Road has an ethnically and economically diverse population This includes significant, long-standing South-Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities, who have been joined more recently by East European, Chinese and African arrivals Alongside these ethnic groups, East Oxford plays host to many members of the city's academic population, both undergraduate and academic staff, and is home to many politically active groups

Cowley Road has high levels of both road traffic and pedestrian traffic, and space for both is limited In 2005, Oxfordshire County Council invested about £1,000,000 from central government to re-model the busiest part of Cowley Road The carriageway has been realigned and colourfully resurfaced, the pavements have been repaved, cycle lanes have been enhanced in some places and removed from others and in one section the speed limit has been reduced to 20 miles per hour 32 km/h

Music and cultureedit

The Cowley Road area has played a prominent part in the Oxford music scene A number of successful bands made their formative performances in local venues such as the O2 Academy Oxford formerly known as The Zodiac, and The Bullingdon formerly The Art Bar Famous Oxford bands have included Supergrass, Radiohead and Ride

Cowley Road is also home to the Cowley Road Carnival, an annual event during which the road is pedestrianised, and which features live music, static sound systems, a parade, and food from around the world4 Cowley Road Carnival has become an integral part of contemporary Oxford In 2014 and 2015 it attracted 45,000 visitors In 2016 it was held on 10 July

See alsoedit

  • Cowley Road Carnival
  • Ultimate Picture Palace, James Street, off Cowley Road


  1. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p 341
  2. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, pp 341–342
  3. ^ Hibbert, Christopher, ed 1988 "Cowley Road" The Encyclopaedia of Oxford London: Macmillan p 112 ISBN 0-333-39917-X 
  4. ^ "Cowley Road Carnival" Oxford Retrieved 24 August 2012 

Sources and further readingedit

  • Attlee, James 2007 Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey Chicago: University of Chicago Press ISBN 978-0-226-03093-7 
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus 1974 Oxfordshire The Buildings of England Harmondsworth: Penguin Books ISBN 0 14 071045 0 
  • Skinner, Annie 2005 Cowley Road: A History Signal Books ISBN 1-904955-10-X 

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