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Treat road deaths as public health issue, says Oxfordshire’s cycling champion

Councillor Andrew Gant was speaking following death of a cyclist in collision involving lorry-mounted crane yesterday

Oxfordshire’s cycling champion says road deaths need to be treated as a public health issue to prevent future tragedies. Andrew Gant, Liberal Democrat councillor and cycling champion at Oxfordshire County Council, was speaking after a cyclist was killed in a collision involving a lorry-mounted crane yesterday morning.

The fatal crash happened at the junction of Headley Way and London Road at around 9.50am on Sunday 26 September. The victim, who has not yet been named, was a 32-year-old woman.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “A large crane vehicle was involved in a collision with a cyclist.

“Sadly, the cyclist, a 32-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her next of kin have been informed and are receiving support from specially trained officers.”

Sergeant James Surman, of the force’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “This is a tragic incident which has resulted in the death of a woman.

“I am appealing for anyone who has any information relating to the collision to please get in touch with Thames Valley Police.

“If you have any CCTV or dash-cam footage which you think could be relevant, please contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Thames Valley Police on 101.

Quoted in the Oxford Mail, Councillor Gant, said: “I was devastated to learn that a young woman lost her life in Oxford over the weekend.

“This tragic death is even more heartbreaking when you realise that it comes less than a year since a 35-year-old woman riding a bike on Horspath Driftway was killed in a collision with a bin lorry, and before that the death of an Oxford student, Claudia Comberti, who died when she fell off her bike and was struck by a bus on Botley Road.

“We don’t know what happened in this incident, but we do know that we can and should be working to prevent these tragedies by taking a proactive, preventative approach that prioritises traffic safety and treats it as a public health issue.

“We should be separating road space, so vulnerable road users don’t come into conflict with vehicles.

“In Sweden in the 1990s, they adopted Vision Zero which is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

“They did this by prioritising active travel and making it a safe and accessible option for everyone.

“We should be doing this in the UK, and in Oxfordshire we are championing this approach. We so obviously need to do things differently,” he added.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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