Bike crashes and thefts soar, new figures reveal

Over 2000 cyclists injured in crashes during the last ten years

Over 2,000 cyclists have been injured in crashes on Oxford’s roads in the last ten years. New data from the journey planner CycleStreets has shown that city’s main roads are becoming more dangerous.

Particularly hazardous areas include Botley Road, Abingdon Road, Woodstock Road, Banbury Road, and Barbelo Road.

The figures revealed that there were 2,004 collisions resulting in injuries between 2005 and 2016. These are only the reported collisions, leading to fears the real number is much higher.

Labour councillor Louise Upton told the Oxford Mail: “As many collisions go unreported, this already distressing data is likely just the tip of the iceberg. It shows the urgent need to improve Oxford’s cycling infrastructure and, in particular, the need for segregated cycle lanes.”

Josh King, a second year Mansfield student, told Cherwell: “A joyful cycle ride in Oxford continues to become more like navigating a minefield blindfolded. With unclear bus lanes, dodgy traffic stops and lack of cycle lanes, and more traffic by the day I now feel myself pondering what it will say in my obituary every time I go to lectures.

“The council ought to do more on this issue, segregating cyclists from traffic on all major roads.”

Cyclox chairman Simon Hunt encouraged people to sign a new charter to improve safety, which was launched last night. The charter is named after Claudia Comberti, a 31-year-old geography PhD student at Oxford University who died after coming off her bike in Botley Road in May.

Crashing is not the only danger cyclists have to fear. Police have told Oxford cyclists to take extra precautions to secure their bikes amid a sharp rise in thefts.

According to new figures, reports of bicycles being stolen in the city have soared by 70 per cent in a year. A total of 2,339 reports of bike theft were made to Thames Valley Police from June 2016 to June 2017, an average of six thefts a day.

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King said: “I feel increasingly unsafe and uncomfortable to lock my bike up on the High Street anymore.”

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