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Safety concerns over rise in cycling injuries
10:20am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
CYCLISTS have called for better safety measures after figures show deaths and injuries have more than doubled in the past decade.
Some 58 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in Oxfordshire in 2011 compared to just 27 in 2001.
Lisa Harker lost her unborn child after being hit by an 18-tonne lorry at the junction of Botley Road and Roger Dudman Way in 2004.
The 43-year-old said: “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.”
North Oxford resident Bonnie McMullen, 69, of Osberton Road, has twice been knocked off by people opening car doors while husband James was toppled in a hit-and-run smash.
She said: “The city could do an awful lot more in making cycle lanes that are really cycle lanes, not just lines in the pavement that cars park on.”
Her husband, 73, backed calls for a study of blackspots, saying his 2010 collision in Woodstock Road, by Moreton Road, was “obviously” a flashpoint.
He said of the figures: “I would have thought that the 20mph limits that were introduced would have helped but they don’t seem to have.”
Police enforcement of the 2009 limits only began this year.
Oxfordshire County Council wants money from the Government’s £15m Cycle Safety Fund to improve dangerous junctions.
Nationally the number of all accidents involving bicycles have gone down by 23 per cent. East Oxford Green Party county councillor Larry Sanders, of the Green Party, described the county figures as “frightening”.
He 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.”
Speed limits and weight restrictions could help, he said.
Recent tragedies include the death of Joanna Braithwaite in October last year. She was struck by a cement mixer in North Oxford Driver Stephen Bateman admitted causing death by careless driving and will be sentenced next month.
Deputy council leader Rodney Rose, below, 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.”
It is hoping for £200,000 to improve Abingdon’s Wootton Road/Dunmore Road/Copenhagen Way roundabout.
Earlier this year Oxford City Council members voted to spend more than £800,000 on improving the city’s cycling infrastructure.