Hundreds of cyclists will take to the streets of Oxford tonight to call for safer roads following the death of a woman who had been cycling on Botley Road on Tuesday, with campaigners saying that “private cars and vans do not belong on our city’s roads.”
Claudia Comberti died after she was struck by a bus operated by the Oxford Bus Company just after 2.30pm on Tuesday afternoon. According to Thames Valley Police, the 31-year-old had fallen from her bike moments beforehand.
Detective Sergeant Gavin Collier from the force’s serious collision investigation unit, said: “Having collated evidence from a number of sources, at this stage it is believed that the cyclist sadly fell from her bicycle just prior to the collision.
“Investigations remain ongoing to establish the cause of the incident, however we do not believe it was as a result of any interaction with another person or vehicle.”
Ms Comberti, originally from London, was close to completing her DPhil dissertation at the University of Oxford. One of her supervisors said that her research into the impact of climate change on indigenous people in the Amazon had been recognised as important by the United Nations.
She was a regular visitor to the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, which in a blog post said (link is external): “She embodied that which we try to create and nourish — a love of the world and its people, the outdoors, a zest for life, of living what you believe.”
On Wednesday, 100 cyclists rode from Carfax in the centre of Oxford to the location where she was killed to install a ghost bike in her memory, with Broken Spoke’s blog post highlighting ongoing concerns about the safety of riders in the city.
“Ten people ghosted Claudia’s white bike down Woodstock Road to Carfax before the procession to Botley, riding two abreast in the centre of the lane as it is safe and legal to do,” it said.
“Unsurprisingly we were met with blaring horns, dangerous overtaking and aggressive comments from people inside vehicles as we rode to commemorate the friend who was killed on the road not 24 hours earlier.”