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Campaigners call for consideration of rural speed limits and safer infrastructure for cyclists

New analysis by Brake, the road safety charity, released to coincide with Road Safety Week, shows that per mile travelled, cyclists are 46 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured (KSI) than car drivers.

According to Department for Transport figures, cyclists and motorcyclists account for nearly four in ten deaths and serious injuries on British roads.

Cyclists are 14 times more likely to be killed and 46 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than car drivers, while motorcyclists are 55 times more likely to be killed, and 81 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured.

A survey of more than a thousand drivers, commissioned by Brake, found that the majority of drivers (52 per cent) feel cyclists and motorcyclists are most vulnerable on urban roads. However, two-thirds (301) of bike deaths (meaning both cyclists and motorcyclists) in 2017 took place on rural roads  – the highest number for more than five years.

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Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Every hour, a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured on a British road – each a tragedy that will devastate innumerable lives.

“Raising awareness about the safety of those on two wheels, who face much higher risk of death and serious injury than those in cars, is absolutely vital. We support the Government’s announcement of a review of the Highway Code to help keep cyclists safe and its stated focus on motorcyclists in the forthcoming road safety action plan.

“Rural roads, with their high speeds, blind bends and few cycle routes, pose particular danger to those on two wheels, with the risk of a fatal rural road bike crash now at its highest since 2010. The Government’s announced focus on rural road user safety is welcome and we encourage the consideration of rural road speed and bike-safe infrastructure, such as segregated cycle lanes, in its plans.”

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, added: “In recent years progress on road safety for the most vulnerable road users has stagnated, so we welcome Brake’s decision to focus on the safety of those on two wheels during Road Safety Week.

“But we need road safety to be a key priority for Governments across the UK every day of the year, not just in November, and would echo Brake’s call for consideration of rural speed limits and safer infrastructure for cyclists.”

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