National cycling charity the CTC has responded to news of a 16 per cent increase in cyclist serious injuries in one year, stating that the Government can’t expect more and safer cycling, while cutting back on traffic policing and other road safety measures.
Cycle use rose very slightly in 2011, outweighed by the large increase in cycle casualties. Other road user groups also saw increases in casualties, including a six per cent increase in car occupant deaths, a 12 per cent increase in pedestrian deaths. Overall deaths and serious injuries both increased slightly.
CTC’s Campaigns Director, Roger Geffen, said: “We may now be seeing the results of the Government’s previous ‘ending the war on the motorist’ rhetoric, suggesting that road safety wasn’t a priority. Ministers now need to reassert the importance of creating safe and attractive cycling conditions, promoting safe driving and tackling the threats posed by lorries. Creating safe conditions for existing and would-be cyclists is important not just for our health and the environment, but for the safety of other road users too.”
He continued, “Britain’s cycle safety record is falling even further behind other north European countries which have far higher levels of cycle use. We still have only a tiny fraction of our residential streets covered by 20 mph schemes, while hostile roads, bad driving and weak law enforcement remain serious barriers to getting more people cycling.”
Cycle use in 2011 was 4.9 billion kms, a little higher than last year’s figure, which has been revised to 4.8 bn kms. The likelihood of dying while cycling is 55 per cent lower than it was in 1990.
In 2011/12 cycling increased by nine per cent in London alone, where cycle use on the main road network is now 173 per cent higher than in 2000.