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Sharp fall in number of cyclists killed on British roads

Number of deaths falls by a quarter with injuries also down, but full stats are not yet out

Latest official statistics reveal that 83 cyclists lost their lives on Great Britain’s roads in the year to end-June 2023, a 22.5 per cent fall on the previous 12 months.

The report, Reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates: year ending June 2023, was published yesterday, and covers crashes reported to the police.

The Department for Transport (DfT) counted all casualties – so, people who were seriously or slightly injured while riding their bikes – and in total there were 15,158 casualties during the year. This is down 8 per cent on the previous 12 months, and 19 per cent on the 2013 baseline figure.

Some caveats are needed. These are provisional figures, and do not include data from all GB police forces.

Also, it will not be until later that we can put the numbers into the context of how many miles cyclists are collectively riding each year.

Nevertheless, a down tick is a good thing – in the 15 years road.cc has been reporting on this issue, a fatality count of below 100 each year of people doing nothing more than riding their bike on the roads of England, Scotland and Wales is rare.

We will be analysing this data in more detail when the final figures are released.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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21 comments

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Bungle_52 | 3 months ago
4 likes

How have we got to the stage where "only" 83 cyclists killed on the roads is a good thing.

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BalladOfStruth replied to Bungle_52 | 2 months ago
0 likes
Bungle_52 wrote:

How have we got to the stage where "only" 83 cyclists killed on the roads is a good thing.

Playing Devil's advocate, but it's the comparative drop that's "good", not the raw number itself.

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Benthic | 3 months ago
6 likes

"Sharp fall in number of cyclists killed on British roads"

Explainer: motorists killed most of them off in the preceding year.

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chrisonabike replied to Benthic | 3 months ago
5 likes

As others have pointed out - and I'm sure road.cc will show in analysis - while this is all good we need to see what else has changed.

I suspect simply a bit of random fluctuation (though terrible, the numbers are small as the UK has "safe roads" compared with almost everywhere - at the cost of inconvenience to those not in cars). Plus maybe less driving?

We'll see. Now we've got the Road Safety Investigation Board* no doubt we'll have detailed yearly analysis eg. numbers and degree of injury by other vehicle involved (done a bit more carefully than present), where (type of road, junction etc) and when etc.

* We may be waiting some time...

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stonojnr replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
4 likes

the numbers by themselves arent good enough to draw any conclusion about safety on UK roads.

It may be an outlier drop, it maybe there are less people cycling, that is a stat that keeps getting quoted alot this year, it could be anything really.

on a personal level, 2 of the cyclists who were killed this last year locally were people I knew, and that has brought home how unsafe I feel on the roads thesedays, that no drop in overall figures will ever alleviate.

And I think Norfolk has had a near 100% increase in cyclist fatalities this year, from 4 in 2022, to 7 so far in 2023, mostly in urban areas too.

So a drop superficially sounds better than a rise for sure, but theres far more to this than just a headline grabbing fall.

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the little onion | 3 months ago
3 likes

The other caveat that might be missing from your analysis is that you are assuming that the recording standards are consistent year to year. Not all incidents will be reported to police, and not all incidents will be accurately recorded by the police. If the reporting and recording standards change, this can explain a change in statistics (or mask a real change in statistics).

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Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago
0 likes

This a huge credit to vehicle drivers who manage to avoid the bikes ignoring red lights and just crossing big multi junctions without regard to anyone else 

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BalladOfStruth replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago
17 likes
Wheelywheelygood wrote:

a huge credit to vehicle drivers who manage to avoid the bikes

Where have I heard that before? You're Martin73, and I claim my £5.

 

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NOtotheEU replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago
20 likes
Wheelywheelygood wrote:

This a huge credit to vehicle drivers who manage to avoid the bikes ignoring red lights and just crossing big multi junctions without regard to anyone else 

I agree.

These three vehicle drivers didn't hit any cyclists when they all ignored the lights at a big multi junction today so definitely huge credit to them.

I've sent a copy of the video to the police so they can congratulate the lorry driver personally and possibly even give them some sort of award.

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wtjs replied to NOtotheEU | 3 months ago
7 likes

I've sent a copy of the video to the police so they can congratulate the lorry driver personally and possibly even give them some sort of award

Lancashire Constabulary will deride them if they do. That's nowt! Up here you can shoot across a traffic light ages after they turn red while travelling at 50+ mph and towing a caravan and it's so routine that LC doesn't even acknowledge the report- the view is that 'everybody does it', so it doesn't 'count' as an offence and your examples would be ridiculed. This is the scene when the lights turned red as Audi T90 JDT (registration is now a Range Rover, which is no doubt being driven in the same way) was about to crash through them.

https://upride.cc/incident/t90jdt_audiwithcaravan_rljatspeed/

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NOtotheEU replied to wtjs | 3 months ago
6 likes
wtjs wrote:

Lancashire Constabulary will deride them if they do.

They really wouldn't like this one then, it's going to court.

Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts. Genuinely better (but not at driving!)

 

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wtjs replied to NOtotheEU | 3 months ago
6 likes

They really wouldn't like this one then, it's going to court

Well done! But watch out for them dropping the case later, when they think you're not looking, for some stupid reason like 'there's no rear camera footage'. LC wouldn't even get out of bed for this- after all, you're still alive, what's the fuss about?

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NOtotheEU replied to wtjs | 3 months ago
6 likes
wtjs wrote:

you're still alive, what's the fuss about?

In my experience that's what the Magistrates will say 🙁

wtjs wrote:

But watch out for them dropping the case later, when they think you're not looking, for some stupid reason like 'there's no rear camera footage'.

I got that covered . . . . I hope!

 

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wtjs replied to NOtotheEU | 3 months ago
3 likes

I got that covered . . . . I hope!

But they're very persistent- it will be absence of overhead drone video next

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wtjs replied to NOtotheEU | 2 months ago
2 likes

They really wouldn't like this one then, it's going to court

This one won't be, and the police here would ignore it if I bothered to report it. It's HRV PO22 YXA and will come onto upRide. He's further from the lane dividing line than he is from me- as usual, there's oncoming traffic but he just keeps going

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Cocovelo replied to NOtotheEU | 3 months ago
5 likes

I think it's clear to everyone here that that red is definitely not established.

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I love my bike replied to Cocovelo | 3 months ago
1 like

Especially not for the first car when it's showing amber  3

Help, #@~ing USAisms!

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Daveyraveygravey replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago
6 likes

That old cliche about red lights?  Shame on you.

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I love my bike replied to Daveyraveygravey | 3 months ago
4 likes

Charitably, it could be read as ironic.

I'm trying to work out how a petrol pump is classified as a motor vehicle in your graphic?

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HoldingOn replied to I love my bike | 3 months ago
0 likes
I love my bike wrote:

I'm trying to work out how a petrol pump is classified as a motor vehicle in your graphic?

I wonder if cycles with more or less than two wheels kill more pedestrians. Assuming the data capture asked you how many wheels your cycle had...

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absolute right | 3 months ago
0 likes

I'm wondering if the Police data is simply collisions without reference to highway defects or component failures? Thinking poor Mt Colledge for example.........

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