According to cycling casualty figures released by the Scottish Government, in response to a request from the CTC, Aberdeenshire is the most dangerous place to ride a bike in Scotland. Between 2001 and 2006 nine cyclists were killed on county's roads – almost twice the number recorded for any other Scottish local authority area.
The next most dangerous places to cycle in Scotland were Highland, Angus, and Edinburgh which each recorded five deaths over the same period. On the bright side, almost a third of Scotland's local authorities recorded no cycling fatalities. In total 65 cyclists were killed in Scotland between 2001 and 2006.
The figures were obtained by the Grampian branch of the CTC, which is calling for Aberdeenshire Council’s draft road safety strategy to include more provision for cyclists.
CTC spokesman Mark Hagger said: “If you analyse the cases it seems there is an issue of driver carelessness.
“It seems drivers need to take more care and be prepared to expect the unexpected.
“The strategy has no specific concern for vulnerable groups such as cyclists and pedestrians.”
Among the measures proposed by the group is a requirement for all learning drivers to spend time on a bicycle to experience north-east roads from a cyclist’s point of view (an idea Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton has also urged, and which also won considerable support in a recent road.cc poll) . Grampian CTC members also called for a “redistribution of road space” to give more consideration to cyclists.
“We have invited the council to take the figures into account,” added Mr Hagger.
“In my view there is plenty more the Aberdeen city and shire councils could do.”
Speaking to the Aberdeen Press and Journal local councillor Graeme Clark said:
“Nine fatalities is horrendous, it really is quite sad,”
“I knew there were a couple of deaths recently in Aberdeenshire but I didn’t appreciate there were more than the rest of the country.
“There is obviously a mentality in the north-east that people are driving too fast. They are not taking into consideration other road users. We have to share the roads. People are not aware enough of cyclists.”
The councillor also called for education on both sides and emphasised the need to prevent children in particular from riding in the dark without lights or high-viz clothing.