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Three killed and two seriously hurt as more cyclists take to the roads

In the space of just three weeks, Kent has seen five cyclists killed or seriously injured on the county's roads, sparking police concerns about safety as more and more new riders take to the roads as a result of the Olympic/ Tour de France cycling boom.

On July 22, a 22-year-old man was found unconscious on the pavement by Station Road West in Canterbury. It is understood he was involved in a collision with a vehicle while on his bike.

He has since been released from hospital, but police are appealing for witnesses to the suspected hit-and-run. Witnesses or anyone with information should call PC James Hatton-Browne at Kent Police on 101 and quoting reference 0722-212.

Eight days later on July 30, 14-year-old Kyle Coen from Sittingbourne was killed after his bike was struck by a car while he rode towards Faversham on the A2 London Road near Bapchild.

A 27-year-old woman and a man, 23, who were in a grey Fiat Bravo, are due to return for more questioning by police. Kyle was a keen BMX rider and had been to visit the local bike shop that day.

On August 3, four days later,  29-year-old Graham Epps died after being involved in a crash with a car on the A2 by Boughton, between Canterbury and Faversham.

Officers arrested and bailed a 50-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving pending further inquiries. Mr Epps's yellow bike was left in pieces on the roadside.

And ten days on, on August 13, tragedy struck again when a cyclist riding on the A299 Thanet Way at Broomfield near Herne Bay was killed following a collision with a small lorry.

An off-duty paramedic fought to save the cyclist's life on the roadside. Police have now launched an appeal for witnesses to the crash, which is thought to have involved a lorry from Aylesford firm Kent Frozen Foods.

The same day an 18-year-old cyclist was taken to hospital with serious head injuries after a crash involving a car in Maidstone.

The teenager crashed with a green Hyundai Accent on the A229 Bishops Way at about 1.45am.

A police spokesman told Kent News: “Statistically, cycling is very safe, but there have been some tragic incidents in the past few weeks and we would urge both motorists and cyclists to take extra care.

“We work closely with our partners at Kent County Council and the Kent Camera Safety Partnership to monitor problems and to promote road safety to reduce the number of incidents.

“Roads policing officers are on patrol every day to enforce the law and intervene with speeding motorists, drivers using mobile phones and motorists driving dangerously.”

So far, 67 people have been killed on Britain's roads this year while cycling.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.