CTC urges action on cycle safety as casualty rates rise

Cyclist outside the Royal Courts of Justice
New figures show that cyclist casualty numbers, particularly serious cyclist casualties, are still rising more steeply than cycle use.

Today's Government figures show a worsening of road safety in Britain for all road users, but with cyclists faring particularly badly.

They compare road casualties during the third quarter of 2014 with the same period the previous year, as well as providing whole-year comparisons of the year to September 2014 with the previous one-year period.

Overall, there was a 4% increase in road injuries in the year to September 2014, compared with the same period a year earlier. Serious injuries over this period increased by 5% and deaths by 1%.

Cyclists fared worse, with an 8% increase in fatal and serious injuries.  Although cyclist fatality numbers have remained fairly steady, the number of cyclist casualties has risen by 26% compared with the 2005-9 average, while fatal and serious cyclist casualties have risen by 46%.

We need to create the conditions where cycling becomes a safe and normal travel option for day-to-day journeys. That would do wonders for our health, our wealth and our wallets."

Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns & Policy Director

Some of this increase will simply be due to increased cycle use, and figures for cycle use up to September 2014 are not yet available. However, even after allowing for almost a 20% increase in cycle use up to 2013 (according to the National Travel Survey), CTC estimates that the risk per mile of a cycling injury is now about 14% above the 2005-9 average, while the fatal and serious cycle injury risk is up 22%.  More information on cyclist casualty trends is available in a Government cycle safety statistics bulletin from December 2014.

Roger Geffen, CTC's Campaigns & Policy Director urged stronger action on cycle safety by Government and the legal system alike. He said:

"MPs on all sides of the Commons have spent several years calling for action to encourage more, as well as safer, cycling. With an election approaching, we now need to hear from each party how they would invest in making cycling a safe and normal travel option for day-to-day journeys. We need safely designed roads and junctions, lower speed limits, properly enforced traffic laws, and action on lorries. All this would provide huge benefits for our health, our wealth and our wallets."