Cycling safety has been all over the national papers this last week. The Times newspaper launched a campaign and a manifesto demanding that UK cities be made “fit for cyclists”. Other papers ran their own takes on the issue.

Non-cyclists must look at modern road systems and shudder at cyclists’ vulnerability. Some cities are grim, admittedly. Birmingham’s main roads are 40mph and the road system was designed with only drivers in mind. London, on the other hand, looks frightening but in fact it gives Oxford a good run for its money.

Cyclists in Oxford have got it fairly good. When you know what you’re doing, cycling here is as safe as any other way of getting about, but there are still plenty who wouldn’t dream of it. Most cyclists have a hairy moment or two every year, almost always with trucks and buses. There are too many near-misses.

According to accident data, cyclists rarely cause the crashes they have with other vehicles, or even with pedestrians.

The anti-cyclist lobby will have you believe that lunatic riders, dressed like ninjas to make themselves harder to spot at night without lights, race along pavements with sharpened swords poking out of their wheel hubs like Boudicca’s chariot, hacking the legs off hapless pedestrians and charging like bulls possessed at the whiff of a red light.

As I walk and cycle around, I do wonder whether these crazy cyclists really exist. I see a few idiots, but as a percentage no more than idiots driving cars or idiots walking. So, what of The Times manifesto? How would it make Oxford a city more “fit for cyclists”? I have paraphrased the more interesting ideas below, the rest you can read at “Trucks should be fitted with sensors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.” Good for Oxford? Absolutely. Several Oxford cyclists have been killed or seriously injured by negligent bus or truck drivers. All of the trucks were rubbish or skip trucks without life-saving side-impact bars between front and rear wheels.

“The worst road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.” Good for Oxford? Of course. Where to start?

“Two per cent of highways budget should go to new cycle routes: £100m-a-year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.” Good for Oxford? We would score well but we have such a long way to catch up with Cambridge – even York. The two per cent is measly though, despite the fact that bikes are infinitely cheaper to provide for than motor vehicles.

“Cyclist and driver training must improve. Cycle safety should be part of the driving test.” A national not a local initiative this one. Good for Oxford? Yes. Most cyclists can (and do) drive, so we know what to expect from motorists. But non-cycling drivers need to see things from a cyclist’s perspective.

20mph should be the default limit in residential areas.” Hurray. If some drivers weren’t hell-bent on breaking the limit, Oxford’s excellent coverage would be perfect. But even the existing scheme has made a good difference.

Recognising that there are still many barriers to cycling in Oxford, from the lack of secure cycle parking to poor cycling conditions on heavily-trafficked roads, the city council proposes to spend hundreds of thousands on improving the cycle network. About bloomin’ time.

You cannot expect Oxford to be a cycling city if you do not invest, so all power to the Oxford Cycling City project.