Road deaths at record low, cycling levels up
Official UK government figures just out show an increase in the number of people cycling.
Cycling levels have reached their highest point for 17 years – coupled with a record low for road fatalities in the UK.
Department for Transport reports show that cycling increased by 12% (measured in total kilometres cycled) at the same time as a substantial fall in cycling deaths, down from 136 to 115, the second lowest level ever.
The total number of road deaths for 2008 was 2,538 – the lowest annual total since records began in 1926 and down 14% down on the 2007 figure. The highest recorded post-war annual total was nearly 8,000 in 1966.
There is still plenty of evidence that the UK’s roads could be made much safer still – especially for cyclists.
- Half of Britain’s A-roads failed to be rated as safe in a European survey. European road assessment programme (Euro-RAP) experts found 58% of A-roads it assessed were either neutral for safety or poor.
- A recent Dutch government report on cycling showed GB languishing behind most western European countries both in terms of cyclists killed per km cycled and in the overall level of cycling trips.
- The 2008 DfT figures showed a 1% increase in serious and slight injuries for cyclists.
CTC Policy Co-ordinator Chris Peck said: “Official statistics prove that cycling is on the rise in Britain, yet casualties don’t appear to be rising at the same rate. This bears out CTC’s Safety in Numbers campaign which shows increased levels of cycling and safety go hand in hand.”