The Department for Transport (DfT) has admitted there is "an ever increasing problem with pedal cyclist casualties", following the latest road casualty statistics.
In 2014 there was an 8.2 per cent rise in the number of seriously injured pedal cyclists to 3,401 in 2014. That means that with the exception of 2012 to 2013, this total has risen every year since a low of 2,174 in 2004.
Tragically, there was also a rise in cyclist fatalities, with 113 last year – four more than in 2013. Fatalities have remained between 104 and 118 since 2008, the DfT said.
The total number of cyclists casualties rose too, up 9.5 per cent to 21,287 in 2014 – the highest since 1999.
Is it getting more dangerous out there? Despite admitting there is a problem, the rise is also partly attributed to rising cyclist numbers.
"Some of the explanation behind the rising number of pedal cyclist casualties is in the volume of cycle traffic. On-road pedal cycle traffic rose by 3.8 per cent to 3.25 billion vehicle miles in 2014. This means that cycle traffic has risen by 27 per cent since 2007, not far short of the 31 per cent rise in casualties over that period. It is likely that the increase in cycling has resulted in more accidents as cyclist become more exposed to motor vehicle traffic."
In a wider context, overall road deaths were up four percent at 1,775. Pedestrian deaths were at 446 in 2014. Vehicle traffic levels rose 2.4 per cent from 2013 to 2014.
The DfT added: "Although pedal cycles have a similar fatality rate as pedestrians, at around 35 to 38 deaths per billion miles travelled, there is a marked difference between the two groups for overall reported casualties. For casualties of all severities, pedal cyclists have a similar rate to motorcyclists, at over 6,500 casualties per billion passenger miles. The rate for pedestrians is 2,110 casualties per billion miles walked."
It’s worth noting that there’s no obligation to report accidents (or incidents) so these figures do not represent the full range of accidents or casualties in UK.