The latest government figures from the Office of National Statistics and the Department for Transport show that the number of pedal cyclists killed in Great Britain decreased by seven percent during 2007, according to their joint report.
Whilst cyclist fatalities fell from 146 to 136, the same report shows total cyclist casualties were at the same level as 2006 at 16,195. More worryingly there were 2,428 seriously injured cyclists, six percent higher than in 2006. The number of slightly injured cyclists showed a one percent decrease from 2006 to 2007, down to 13,631.
The stats were also analysed by age – showing an eight percent increase in serious cycle injuries for children (509) with child fatalities staying about the same (13).
Total casualty figures are also given by class or road user from 1997 to 2007 and are much better news; 1997 saw well over 24,000 cyclist casualties so the 2007 figure of over 16,000 represents a staggering fall of a over a third. Perhaps most surprisingly every year between 1997 and 2006 saw a reduction in total cycle casualties. Compare this to motorcycle casualties which have see-sawed between around 24,000 and 28,000 from 1997 to 2007.
The overall trend is even more impressive when put against increased cycle use over recent years, as reported by the two main sources of figures. The government’s Department for Transport’s figures, Transport Trends recently reported “Between 2000 and 2006, pedal cycle traffic grew from 4.2 to 4.6 billion vehicle kilometres, the highest since 1992.” And Sustrans’ own figures have shown year on year increases in the use of off-road sections of their network. There really are more people cycling more safely it seems – and that’s official.