A CALL to make cycling safer in Oxford after a student was killed riding her bike has been backed by its city council.

Claudia Comberti was just 31 when she died cycling on Botley Road in May.

Now friends from the city’s Broken Spoke Co-Op, cycling group Cyclox and Oxford University, with support from the council, have urged improvements are given a shot in the arm.

The Claudia Charter for Safer Cycling pushes for ‘greater respect’ for ‘vulnerable’ cyclists, along with ‘continuous, segregated cycleways’ that would mean people on two wheels are safer.

A director of the Broken Spoke Co-Op, Sam Chappell, said: “There are problems that are very familiar. It’s not just things that have come out of nowhere. It’s one reason, the death of Claudia. There are many more.

“There are people who don’t feel safe. This charter is trying to remind all road users about the vulnerability of users.

“It’s just not about better infrastructure, it’s about trying to have a dialogue about people who choose to move around by motor vehicle, bicycle or those who walk.”

At least £10 per head needs to be spent on cycling infrastructure in Oxford, according to the charter, and a minimum standard of cycling needs to be taught to people who regularly ride around the city.

It was supported unanimously by Oxford City councillors on Monday and states: “We deserve to be heard. Reporting all near misses, close passes and aggressive interactions to the authorities will raise awareness of the conditions faced by those who choose to cycle.”

The Green Party’s Councillor Dick Wolff said, as a member of the city’s cycling community since the 1970s, there is a strong feeling that something must be done to make cyclists safer.

Although nearly 20 per cent of people in Oxford ride a bike to work, the council’s cycling champion, Councillor Louise Upton, said the city was not yet a ‘cycling utopia’ - with some people struggling with potholes and the behaviour of some motorists.

She said: “For many people in Oxford cycling is a way of life and it certainly was for Claudia.”

Ms Comberti was a DPhil candidate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute when she died on May 9.

Just three days later, hundreds of friends and cyclists rode along Broad Street in Oxford in her memory.

She had been a regular visit to the Broken Spoke Co-Op, in Pembroke Street, which runs bike workshops and promotes cycling in Oxford.

The ride had been colourful and noisy in her memory, with riders asked to bring neckerchiefs and bells, horns and musical instruments.

Oxfordshire County Council is already investing millions of pounds on cycle route improvements as part of its Local Transport Plan.

The council has delivered schemes that support cycling at Frideswide Square and The Plain roundabout. Other improvements include the Access to Headington project.

The charter will be officially launched with new signatories on November 9.

It will be online at www.claudiacharter.uk in the next week.