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Injured cyclists plead for more to be done to protect riders

Cycle deaths and injuries in Oxford have double in the last ten years, leading survivors of crashes to beg for more safety measures.

In the city famously associated with the bicycle, 58 people were killed or seriously injured last year, compared to 27 in 2001.

The more than 100 per cent rise in incident rates is in stark contrast to the national average, which is actually down 23 per cent in the last decade.

Lisa Harker, who lost her unborn baby after she was hit by an 18-tonne lorry at the junction of Botley Road and Roger Dudman Way in 2004, told the Oxford Times:

“I think it is a real shame that Oxford has such high levels of serious incidents and deaths.

“We are a cycling city and we ought to be proud of our cycle safety.

“The thing that most devastated me after my accident was finding out someone else had been killed in the same spot in the same circumstances and nothing had been done.”

In 2009, some parts of Oxford were made 20mph zones, but police only began enforcing them this year.

One of the more recent incidents involved a cement mixer that ran over a woman cyclist. Stephen Bateman, 74, was convicted of careless driving and will be sentenced next year.

East Oxford Green Party county councillor Larry Sanders, of the Green Party, said: “We certainly know that some of the most terrible accidents have involved large construction vehicles that are difficult to manoeuvre, operating in areas where there is a high concentration of cyclists.”

Deputy council leader Rodney Rose said that the figures might reflect greater numbers of cyclists on the roads.

He said: “We know where the problems are. All we need is the funding to put it right.

“There has been an big uptake in cycling. When you get more cyclists, you possibly get more accidents.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.