Cyclist casualty figures in Northern Ireland should be “wake-up call” to decision-makers

No change in casualty figures for cyclists in Northern Ireland over 10 years provokes calls for swift adoption of Highway Code in Northern Ireland
  • Baseline average for people cycling killed or seriously injured in 2004-08 is 61 per year, between 2012 and 2022 it is 59 per year
  • Lack of movement in reducing cyclist casualties in 10 years called shameful by charity Cycling UK
  • Charity urges Stormont to take action and adopt updates made to the Highway Code in Great Britain in January 2022 designed to make roads safer for everyone

Cycling UK has renewed its calls for Stormont to adopt changes made to the Highway Code in Great Britain designed to make the roads safer for people cycling and walking.

The charity’s call follows Department for Infrastructure (DfI) figures released today (Thursday 6 July) showing there has been negligible change in the rate of pedal cyclist casualties in the past 10 years,

The DfI announced an ambition in 2012 to reduce the number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) from a rate of 60.7 per 100 million kilometres. Figures released today show on average over 10 years this rate has barely changed, with an average of cycling KSIs at 59 each year.

In January 2022, the Department for Transport in Westminster announced updates to the Highway Code to make the roads safer for people cycling and walking in England, Scotland and Wales.

These updates included guidance for people driving on giving more than 1.5m when overtaking cyclists and the establishment of a hierarchy of road users. The hierarchy established priority for the most vulnerable road users, placing people walking at the top followed by those cycling, horse riding, motorcycling, driving cars and HGVs.

Despite pressure from road safety groups, Stormont has still not even consulted on accepting any updates to the NI Highway Code. Cycling UK says these changes, if adopted, will help make the roads safer for everyone.

In 2022, DfI officials briefed against adopting the Highway Code update, which require ministerial approval, resulting in Northern Ireland missing its chance to adopt new measures designed to protect road users.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said:

“Ten years ago Stormont set a worthy ambition of reducing deaths on our roads, so it’s shameful to see nothing has changed over that period.

“Last year Stormont dithered and delayed in adopting changes to the Highway Code that would have made the roads safer for everyone, and could have helped prevent needless casualties. When a new minister is in place they cannot be complacent; they need to adopt the changes swiftly and in full, anything less is a dereliction of duty in the face of these avoidable deaths.

“It’s easy to be complacent about statistics, but every single one of those killed or seriously injured when cycling each year represents a real tragedy that Stormont has effectively ignored by failing to make the necessary changes.

“These latest figures should be a wake-up call to our decision-makers to take action and bring in the much-needed updates to the Highway Code. Every life needlessly lost or damaged is a profound tragedy and this update is vital to combat that trend.”


Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic-free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often.
  2. Latest DfI casualty figures are available at:
  3. For year-on-year casualty figures see:

Report year

Pedal cyclist KSIs per 100 million kms























Average KSI 2012-2022


2004-2008 baseline



  1. For more information on the updates to the Highway Code in Great Britain see:

Press contact information

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