More cyclists are being seriously injured on the roads in the UK even while safety as a whole is improving, a new study has concluded.
An interim report on road safety published by the RAC Foundation and the all-party Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety says that, between 2010 and 2013, reported road deaths and serious injuries have declined, albeit more slowly than in the previous few years.
However, cycling has seen the number of people seriously injured (but not killed) increase, while specific figures published in respect of London show an increase of 16% in cyclists killed or seriously injured between the 2005-9 average and 2013. Pedestrians and motorcyclists saw casualty numbers fall by more than 30% over the same period.
The findings will come as a particular concern given that, over a period when the Department for Transport’s road safety funding generally has been cut, the money being put into bike safety schemes has increased significantly. In particular, the funding for cyclist training (Bikeability) has more than doubled, from £5.4m to £11m, while a new Cycle Safety Fund has seen a total of £35m invested over the last two years.
However, members of the public whose views were canvassed for the report criticised the “stop-start nature” of funding, as well as a perceived lack of consistent long-term financial support which would enable better planning of schemes.