New Metropolitan police figures have shown that 119 cyclists were victims of hit-and-run incidents in the London borough of Hackney last year - a huge increase on previous years.
13 per cent of Hackney residents cycle to work, in the borough that saw the UK’s largest increase in cycling from 1991-2001, In London as a whole, there were 13 hit and run deaths of cyclists and pedestrians last year and a further eight between January and June this year.
Hackney Cycling Club member Tony Mehegan told the Hackney Citizen: “People should be encouraged to report hit and runs so that authorities are more aware of where the problem areas are.
“There is also the issue of drivers being aware that cyclists have a right to be on the road,” he said, “and there is a concern about society’s lack of acceptance that the roads are a two-way street for both drivers and cyclists.”
Jenny Jones, London Assembly Green Party member, said: “The Met has made a lot of progress in tackling the problem of hit-and-run drivers in recent years by removing thousands of uninsured and unlicensed drivers from our streets.
“But the number of hit-and-runs in London remains at a high level which is incredibly concerning.”
According to Critical Mass: "Nearly 1 in every 6 pedal cyclist casualties (16 per cent) in the UK occurs in a ‘hit and run’ accident – a total of 2,665 in 2007 of which 337 were seriously injured and 16 killed. Pedal cyclists are over-represented in these accidents, representing 11 per cent of hit and run casualties (compared with 7 per cent of all casualties)."
In 2004 in Hackney, there were 224 hit and run incidents in total, around 12 per cent of which, or about 26, were involving cyclists.
80 per cent of hit and run incidents in London are caused by cars. Only one per cent are caused by cyclists.
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.