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Woman cyclist hit by coach on maligned Oxford junction redesign

Frideswide Squre has been subject to widespread complaints by cycling groups

A female cyclist has been hospitalised with head injuries following a collision in a much maligned road redevelopment in Oxford.

The woman, in her 40s, was hit by an Oxford Tube coach in Hollybush Row at 7pm on Thursday evening.

She was treated for head injuries before being transferred to hospital, where she is expected to recover.

Last month we reported how over a thousand people had signed a petition asking Oxford Council to redesign a junction at Hythe Bridge near the railway station, saying it is ‘potentially lethal’ for cyclists.

The petition, begun on change.org and signed by 1125 people at the time of writing, asks that
says that “there are far too many cyclists to be safely accommodated in the "waiting" area in the middle of the crossing.

“Fast-turning lorries and cars swing round from two directions into Hythe Bridge and miss cyclists by inches.

“It is also not clear when it is safe for bikes to cross over into George Street.

“Could the Council look at alternative ways of keeping safe  the hundreds of cyclists who travel from the station and Botley Road to town.

“One solution might be to copy the lights on the corner of the High and Longwall: low-level traffic lights designed for cyclists, giving a few seconds before cars and buses are given the go-ahead.

“This enables bikes to move to a wider part of Magdalen Bridge before buses can overtake them.

“The same arrangement could work on the Hythe Bridge Crossing with cyclists crossing over to George Street before 4 wheeled traffic starts to flow in three directions.”

This area of Oxford has been long disrupted by the works to improve Frideswide Square, outside the Saïd Business School.

Recently, temporary traffic lights have been causing long tailbacks on the Botley Road.

And in the summer, we reported how a safety report on the major redevelopment of one of Oxford’s busiest junctions was published, following concerns about cyclist safety in the area.

Frideswide Square, next to the railway station, has been under development since February last year, at a cost of £5.8m.

But two cyclists had been injured at the roundabouts, at either end of the square, since work began.

Following a Freedom of Information request from the Oxford Mail, the county council released the safety report.

The paper reported that: “Problems picked up by the audit included the short link between the roundabouts on the eastern side of the square, making cyclists “vulnerable” as they weaved between slow-moving vehicles, and vegetation blocking sight lines.”

Chairman of campaign group Cyclox Simon Hunt said at the time: “These safety reports should be subject to public scrutiny.

“We will now have a close look at the report and there may be aspects we want to follow up as a result.”

He added: “At the moment it is nerve-wracking when you cycle through the square because when traffic is congested it is quite close to you.

“As part of the new design there will be shared space for pedestrians and cyclists away from the main carriageway.

“Non-confident cyclists will need help to access that shared space – we don’t think that has been thought through properly.”

 

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.

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