London cycling deaths down but casualties up

Figures have to be seen in context of large increase in bike use

New figures from Transport for London show a 32 percent reduction in road deaths in the UK capital between 2009 and 2010. Cyclist fatalities were down 23 percent – 10 riders were killed in 2010, compared to 13 in 2009. However, when those figures are combined with the number seriously injured, there was an eight percent rise in cycling casualties, despite a decline among other road users.

TFL say: "This overall increase should be seen in the context of the considerable increase in cycling over a number of years, resulting from encouragement of cycling in London as a sustainable mode of travel. Cycling on London's major roads increased by 150 percent between 2000 and 2010, and 15 percent during 2010 alone."

Cyclists accounted for 14 percent of all 2010 casualties, 17 percent of those killed or seriously injured, and eight percent of all fatalities. Pedestrians topped the 2010 figures for seriously injured, with 5,391 people hurt – and bicycles were involved in 157 of those incidents.

Westminster had the biggest number of cyclist casualties in 2010 with 308, although it was only a two percent increase over 2009. Camden had a substantial 40 percent rise in cyclist casualties to 234. Looking at the past decade as a whole, there's been a drop in cycling casualties and some quite dramatic improvements in other areas of road safety – a 49 percent reduction in overall fatalities, for example.

Commenting on the new figures, London Mayor Boris Johnson praised the police and others involved, but added: "There is still much more to be done, especially around the safety of cyclists on our streets, and that's exactly why we continue to fund road safety schemes across the capital." According to the Green Party, spending on road safety in London has fallen from £58.8 million in 2008/9 to £24.5m in 2010/11.

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