The latest Department for Transport road casualty statistics for 2012 have been released and it doesn’t make particular good reading for cyclists.
While there was a 7% drop in road accidents in the year ending September 2012 compared to the year before, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured increased by 8% in the same period. The figures suggest 3,270 cyclists were killed or seriously injured between October 2011 and September 2012.
Figures for pedestrians and motorcyclists also rose during the period, up by 6 %and 4%.
Unbelievably, the government has cut spending on road safety campaigns from £19m in 2008/09 to just £4 million in 2011/12 – a cut of nearly 80%. These figures was attained by the Institute of Advanced Motorists after a freedom of information enquiry.
The DfT is planning on spending £3.57 million on road safety in the 2012/13 financial year which will see just £53,000 spent on cyclist safety. This is a derisory amount when cycling take-up figures are rising in our view.
We agree with Sustrans Policy Director, Jason Torrance, who this week said: “The government must act now to put an end to the increasing number of pedestrian and cyclist casualties on our roads.
“As MPs investigate how to get more people out on their bikes, these figures show just how far we have to go.
“Leadership, investment and big changes in our schools, workplaces and communities are urgently needed to make cycling and walking safer and to build a healthier, cleaner UK.
“Safe cycling routes and lower speed limits could help prevent the increasing number of injuries and tragic deaths on our roads.”