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Cyclists more likely to die on UK roads

3rd December 2009

Researchers say that more must be done to make cycling safer in Britain.

cycling2

Writing in the journal of Injury Prevention, a team from the University of Surrey, Guildford, says that riding a bicycle is much more hazardous in Britain than in Holland or Denmark.

Injuries to cyclists in Britain are disproportionately high compared with those to drivers and passengers in cars. From 1999 to 2004, 35,000 cyclists were injured severely enough to be admitted to hospital in England, compared with 71,000 occupants in cars but many more journeys are taken in cars.

The Surrey team fear that if policymakers do not act to make riding a bike safer in the UK, efforts to persuade more people to take exercise or travel on two wheels will be in vain.

The researchers say: “If car and bicycle journeys were equally safe or hazardous, trip for trip, one would expect 40 times fewer admissions for injuries to cyclists than to car occupants.

“Per trip, cycling is more risky, as measured by hospital admission, than travelling by car.”

In the UK 4% of people use a bicycle compared to 25% in Holland but English cyclists are three times more likely to be killed or injured per mile travelled than their Dutch or Danish counterparts.

York, Hull and Cambridge were held up as examples of cities facilitating safer cycling.

“Encouragement of walking and cycling needs to be accompanied by serious efforts to ensure that safe traffic environments are established for pedestrians and cyclists,” said the Surrey researchers.

 

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Comments

bob macqueen

Thursday 17th December 2009 @ 13:35

After a recent cycling holiday in Holland it is clear that only a real investment in cycling infrastructure will make cycling both attractive and safe in the UK. I spent 2 weeks around Assen in north Holland and as a result have started a blog comparing the provision in Assen with that in my home town of Leamington Spa - see http://assenise.blogspot.com/


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