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Cycling much safer than it was two decades ago, but more needs to be done to improve rider safety says national body

The number of cyclists killed on Britain's roads rose in 2010 after declining in each of the previous four years, according to latest casualty statistics published today by the Department for Transport. While there was also a rise in the rate of fatalities per billion kilometres travelled, the long-term trend according to an analysis of the data by CTC shows that cycling is still much safer than it was 20 years ago, but the national cyclists' organisation insists that the rate of casualties is not coming down quickly enough.

CTC Campaigns Director Roger Geffen commented: “Despite months of ice and snow in 2010, cycling is still growing. However, casualties remain high, and there are many areas where Britain is falling farther behind our European counterparts in providing for cycling We still have only a tiny fraction of our residential streets covered by 20mph while hostile roads, bad driving, and weak law enforcement remain serious barriers to getting more people cycling.”

Total distance ridden in 2010 was 5 billion kilometres and registered a slight increase over the preceding year to reach its highest level since 1991. In London alone, there was a 15 per cent increase in levels of cycling during 2010, outpacing cycling injuries in the capital which rose by 9% over the previous year.

The latest road casualty statistics from the Department for Transport can be found here.

Year   kms cycled (billion)  Deaths   Deaths per billion km  

1990          5.3             256             48.3 
1991          5.2             242             46.8 
1992          4.7             204             43.1 
1993          4.0             186             46.4 
1994          4.0             172             42.8 
1995          4.1             213             51.4 
1996          4.1             203             49.8 
1997          4.1             183             44.8 
1998          4.0             158             40.0 
1999          4.1             172             42.2 
2000          4.2             127             30.5 
2001          4.2             138             32.6 
2002          4.4             130             29.4 
2003          4.5             114             25.3 
2004          4.2             134             31.8 
2005          4.4             148             33.4 
2006          4.6             146             31.7 
2007          4.2             136             32.4 
2008          4.7             115             24.5 
2009          5.0             104             20.8 
2010          5.0             111             22.2 

Source: CTC/Department for Transport 

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.