Oxford’s cycling campaign group has called for “immediate changes” to be made to a road on which a cyclist was killed in a collision involving a lorry earlier this month.
On 8 February a university worker, who was in her 40s, was killed when she was struck by a lorry driver while cycling on the A4165 near Oxford Parkway station, a busy commuter route between Kidlington and Oxford. She was the fourth woman killed while cycling in the area since 2017.
A vigil in memory of the cyclist was organised last week by campaign group Cyclox, who have repeatedly called for safer routes for cyclists in and around the city, and attended by over 100 people.
Yesterday, Cyclox handed a petition to Oxfordshire County Council “calling for change to happen fast” to make the Oxford Road safe.
The petition urges the council to lower the speed limit on the road to 30mph and to make immediate improvements to road signs and markings. Cyclox has also called for the creation of a segregated cycle lane on the road, using investment from nearby developments.
"We are horrified at the loss of yet another life and now in her memory we want to express our anger that our roads are so unsafe," the group said in a statement.
Mark Fransham, who drafted the petition, told the Oxford Mail: “Two weeks on from a fatal collision nothing has changed. There are still the same dangers on that road. It’s just an accident waiting to happen again. We really want to see some action taken soon.
“The route between Kidlington and Oxford resembles more a motorway junction than it does a residential area.
“For a long time I have thought that route is not safe as it should be for cycling. I’ve always thought that, but the collision two weeks ago made me think, no, I’ve really got to do something about this.”
Fransham came across the aftermath of the collision on his way into Oxford and described the incident as “shocking”.
“I cycle over that exact spot every day. It’s always been a worry of mine,” he said.
“I’ve always said to people that cycling is great – and it is – now, I think that could so easily have been me, it could have been my daughter, it could have been my wife, who both cycle. It feels very close to home.
“We are very keen to do something, not just shrug our shoulders and move on. There are things we think can be done on that route.”
Cyclox’s chairperson, Dr Alison Hill, backed calls for a protected bike lane and described the current road layout as “very hostile to people who want to cycle. Yet Parkway should be a hub and somewhere that should be easy to get to by bicycle.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said: “We acknowledge the concerns of the residents and cycling community following this terrible incident and will listen to what they have to say.
“One of our priorities is to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians to get around and we will always look at ways we can achieve this.
“We would be happy to meet with the campaigners to discuss improvements to the situation.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.