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RoSPA is urging for the UK’s roads to be made safer for cyclists and is calling for greater provision in cyclist training and better driver awareness of cyclists on the roads.
The move comes following a publication of annual casualty statistics which have revealed a worrying rise in the number of cyclist deaths on Great Britain’s roads.
Annual road casualty figures published last week by the Department for Transport (DfT) for Britain in 2012 show that overall road deaths have fallen by 8 per cent to 1,754 in 2012, continuing an ongoing trend which can be explained by the current recession which has created less traffic and slower driving in a bid to reduce fuel consumption costs for motorists.
With the economy showing signs of improvement, it is important to keep the number of road deaths to a minimal however there are fears that with the suspected rise in traffic together with more cycling and walking, it might prove a tough task in the future to maintain these low statistics.
The DfT published in their report that the number of cyclists killed on Britain’s roads has risen by 10 per cent to 188 with the number of seriously injured cyclists also rising for the 8th year in a row to 3,222. The increase in deaths was mainly among the young with child cyclist doubling from 6 deaths in 2011 to 13 in 2012.
One of the reasons the DfT gives to the general rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads is the increased popularity of the sport since 2004. Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “The good news of a large drop in road deaths in 2012 is marred by an increase in cyclist deaths, especially among child cyclists which is particularly worrying.
“We need to redouble our efforts to make sure that cyclist deaths and injuries are reduced as the popularity of cycling increases.
“It is vital to create a coherent safe network for cyclists by introducing appropriate cycle lanes, linking quieter streets, developing routes alongside rivers, canals and through parks where possible, and introducing more 20mph schemes in our towns and cities.
RoSPA is also appealing to motorists to keep their speed down, be aware of cyclists and provide them with enough room on the road to cycle safely.