A county councillor was knocked off her bike and suffered a bloody facial wound as she cycled to a meeting to discuss road safety.

Trish Elphinstone, 59, was taken to hospital after a collision in Cowley on Friday, April 21, left her head “matted with blood”.

She said: “You don’t expect it as a cyclist when you are on a safe cycle path for someone to come into the side of you."

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Mrs Elphinstone, who represents Rose Hill and Littlemore on Oxfordshire County Council, said it was “ironic” the incident occurred as she cycled to meet officers to discuss road safety improvements.

She said: “I was on my way to a road safety improvement meeting for Newman Road and Littlemore and I was due to meet officers to discuss road safety. Obviously, I didn’t make it.

“I have only just been elected and part of what I want to do is improve road safety and it’s ironic that I was due to meet these officers when the incident happened.”

The collision occurred at around 1.30pm as Mrs Elphinstone was coming out from a designated cycle path that runs alongside the eastern by-pass road opposite the Oxford Mini Plant.

As she passed the junction with Fern Hill Road, a black saloon driven by a man cut across her and clipped her wheel.

She said: “I wasn’t going fast because I am a cautious cyclist and I was going downhill and had my hands on the breaks. I must have been going at about 10 miles per hour.

“He came right into my blind spot. I was just thinking he’s not going to stop, and within a second of thinking that, he hit my back wheel.

“I rolled over the wing of the car and hit the pavement with my head and my knees.”

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The car sped off while witnesses, some of whom were able to take pictures of the number plate, rushed to help the wounded cyclist.

Mrs Elphinstone sustained two abrasions to her face, soft tissue damage in her shoulder, swelling on her knees the size of a “tennis ball” and a cut to her eyebrow that will require plastic surgery on Tuesday.

She said: “There was a really nice guy who held my hand until the ambulance came and kept talking to me, and there was another who rang the ambulance.”

Mrs Elphinstone was kept in hospital for seven hours before she was discharged and is now cautious to get back on a bike.

She said: “I want to get back on the bike but at the moment I am a bit shaken up and physically I’m just stiff.

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“Just by chance I had put extra layers on that morning because it was cold and I was wearing a heavy scarf around my neck which took the brunt.

“I was slowing down anyway, and if I had not been wearing that protective gear I would have been in a much worse situation.”

Mrs Elphinstone said police were investigating the incident, although a spokeswoman refused to comment as they do not answer enquiries about road traffic collisions.