Last year was a more dangerous year than 2011 to be a Scottish cyclist, official figures published on Tuesday reveal. Cyclist casualties in Scotland increased by 9 percent and there were 9 cyclist deaths, 2 more than in 2011.
The latest Statistical Bulletin from Transport Scotland says:
“There were 898 pedal cyclist casualties recorded in 2012, 9 per cent more than in 2011. 167 (19% and an increase of 7% on 2011) were seriously injured and 9 died (two more than in 2011).
The report suggests that the increased number of cyclists on the roads is a factor in the increase in casualties.
“There are now more cyclists on the roads which will impact on cycling casualty numbers with numbers increasing by around 30 per cent in the last ten years, as shown by the National Travel Survey and Traffic estimates published in Scottish Transport Statistics.”
A poster on the CityCycling Edinburgh forum, Instography, pointed out that the 9 percent increase is “the least bad figure they could have used.”
A comparison with the average between 2004 and 2008 “shows a 19% increase in killed or seriously injured. Or a 34% increase in the numbers KSI on non-built-up roads.”
Responding to the increase, Scottish cyclists’ rights organisation Pedal on Parliament said: “We are saddened but not surprised by the latest data on safety on Scotland’s roads, which indicates that while casualties for drivers and passengers have fallen, those for pedestrians and cyclists have risen.
“This data shows clearly that vulnerable road users continue to be at risk.
“It may be that the rates are increasing because the number of cyclists and miles cycled is increasing, but this should not be an excuse for complacency on the part of the government. Rather, it should indicate the need to improve safety on Scotland’s roads as they seek to encourage and support active travel.
“This will require more than a ‘mutual respect’ campaign. It requires the government to take responsibility and act.”
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.