16 August 2012
New quarterly road casualty figures reinforce the bad news of other similar figures from recent months, not just for cyclists but for motorcyclists and pedestrians too. However, without quarterly data on cycle use, the change in level of risk is unknown.
Tackling major roads and junctions as well as road user behaviour is required

Recent figures had previously showed a 16% rise in serious cyclist injuries in 2011 [2] compared with 2010. These new figures now roll the time-period by just 3 months, so to a large extent they simply reiterate the earlier bad news. However, for the new time-period now covered, total cyclist casualties in the first 3 months of 2012 were 10% higher than for the same period in 2011 [3], while serious and fatal injuries were up by 13%. Although the early months of 2012 were mild compared with the wintry start to 2011, the rise in cyclist casualties is unlikely to be explained by a corresponding increase in cycle use.

CTC’s Campaigns & Policy Director Roger Geffen said:

“Following Britain’s Olympics successes, there is a wonderful opportunity to encourage more people to cycle, yet people will still be deterred while they continue to hear news of rising numbers of cyclist casualties.  After a decade of modest but steady improvement in cyclists’ safety, things now seem to be going into reverse. This may well be due to previous ministerial rhetoric about “ending the war on the motorist”, with consequent cuts to roads policing budgets and driver awareness campaigns.

“If we want to see an Olympic legacy of more people cycling more safely, the Government must now pay far more attention to tackling the fears which deter people from cycling: traffic speeds, bad driving, hostile roads and junctions, and lorries.  We must aim for more as well as safer cycling, not just for the good of our health, but also our communities, our environment, our economy and our wallets.”