According to the Crash Map, an online tool for tracking road accidents, there were 111 ‘serious’ pedal-cycle accidents in Oxford between 2015-2019, two of which resulted in fatalities. 

The Plain roundabout, situated at the junction of Magdalen Bridge, Cowley Road and Iffley Road, saw the highest concentration of bicycle accidents, with 55 collisions over the last five years.

This suggests that roundabout’s safety has worsened since 2017, when the Plain roundabout was ranked the second most dangerous junction for cyclists in the UK. The 2017 ranking was based on data from 2009-2015, a period which saw 45 collisions at the roundabout – ten fewer than the period between 2015-2019.

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Following closely behind, Iffley Road and Cowley Road emerged as the riskiest cycle routes, with 52 and 47 bicycle accidents, respectively. The route spanning Magdalen bridge and the High Street came in fourth, with 44 total accidents, four of which were ‘serious’. Headington Road and Abingdon Road were the site of over 30 accidents each.

Richard Owen, Director of Road Safety Analysis Limited, first developed Crash Map in 2010 with the intention of making road safety data from the DfT more accessible to the public.

When asked about how Oxford’s roads could be made safer for cyclists, Owen told Cherwell: “The biggest one is 20mph [speed limits] in urban areas… But then also there is compliance – you need to make sure that roads are designed so that cars can’t exceed those speed limits. Beyond that, if you’re looking at longer distance, fast roads, then there needs to be a segregated cycleway. Restrict mixed-use traffic on these types of roads.” 

Image credit: Tejvan Pettinger/ Flickr.