Insurance firm LV has claimed that more cyclists have taken to the roads in the last six months due to the credit crunch – resulting in a 29 per cent increase in road accidents involving cyclists.
LV’s alarming figures are nine times higher than official figures, leading UK national cyclists organisation, CTC, to dismiss them as a cheap publicity stunt.
However, some news sites have taken LV’s figures at face value and have raised the question of whether cyclists should be forced to take part in compulsory cycling proficiency testing.
“This is Mickey Mouse research and flies in the face all official published statistics on cycling,” said CTC Campaigns and Policy Manager Roger Geffen.
“There is plenty of evidence showing that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. In London there has been a 91 per cent increase in cycle use on the capital’s main roads since 2000, and a 33 per cent reduction in cycle casualties in roughly the same period”.
“CTC has been researching cycle safety for over a century. Manipulating statistics for a PR stunt wastes the time of the people who took part in the survey.
"By demonising cyclists and scaring people into staying in their cars, it also undermines the efforts of charities like CTC to encourage more cycling and improve road safety for all,” he added.
The CTC has requested LV to withdraw the original press release.