Cyclists on UK Roads: increasingly vulnerable, and a threat to pedestrians

It’s a truth well known that cyclists on the roads are at high risk of injury, predominantly from other road users such as cars and HGVs. Latest data acquired from police forces across the UK suggest that more cyclists than ever are being injured on Britain’s roads.

Most dangerous regions for cyclists

Using Freedom of Information requests, Claims.co.uk has gathered data from 27 UK police forces revealing just how vulnerable cyclists continue to be. The police data also reveals the 5 most dangerous regions for cyclists, topped by Hampshire. Those regions are:

According to these statistics, the police were called out to 6,611 incidents involving cyclists hit by cars in 2018 alone, showing an increase in cycling injuries sustained by vehicles over the past 4 years.

The Department for Transport’s most recent review into cycling and walking in 2017 found that more people are cycling than ever, meaning more and more people are becoming vulnerable to injury on Britain’s roads. Of those surveyed, 14% said that they cycle at least once a week. Previously, the governing body had averaged that around 63 cyclists are injured on UK roads every single week, with an average of two of those being fatal.

Police Force 2015 2016 2017 2018
Avon and Somerset Constabulary 450 426 387 478
Bedfordshire Police 59 49 124
Cambridgeshire Constabulary * 190 240 301
Cheshire Constabulary 261 303 295 284
City of London Police 33 33 14 110
Cumbria Constabulary 105 104 133 101
Derbyshire Constabulary 212 161 147 168
Devon & Cornwall Police 140 110 143 195
Dorset Police 267 200 211 416
Durham Constabulary 97 102 106 100
Essex Police 305
Gloucestershire Constabulary 116
Greater Manchester Police 363 332 433 412
Hampshire Constabulary 567
Hertfordshire Constabulary 205
Humberside Police 419 423 431
Kent Police * 260 290 229 243
Lancashire Constabulary
Leicestershire Police 236 199 224 220
Lincolnshire Police 134
Merseyside Police 371 377 366 4
Metropolitan Police Service
Norfolk Constabulary 190 215 203 114
North Yorkshire Police
Northamptonshire Police 227 242 129 75
Northumbria Police
Nottinghamshire Police * 192 197 170
South Yorkshire Police * 195 140 132 228
Staffordshire Police 177 211 159
Suffolk Constabulary 151 162 196 102
Surrey Police 431
Sussex Police
Thames Valley Police 444
Warwickshire Police * 23 167 130 167
West Mercia Police 227 230 232 213
West Midlands Police 511 509 427 332
West Yorkshire Police
Wiltshire Police 161 173 154 123

* = data not for full year
not held = Police force does not hold this data

An increase in pedestrians injured by cyclists

Following the increase in cyclists on roads, with it comes an increase in injuries to pedestrians. Year on year, the data obtained from police forces across the UK showed that there was a nominal increase in pedestrians injured by push cyclists in 2018, with the following regions seeing more injuries to pedestrians that the rest of the UK:

Police Force 2015 2016 2017 2018
Avon and Somerset Constabulary 4 8 8 5
Bedfordshire Police 2 0 1
Cambridgeshire Constabulary * 8 6 5
Cheshire Constabulary 2 8 5 3
City of London Police 4 6 2 32
Cumbria Constabulary 1 1 4 2
Derbyshire Constabulary 1 3 0 5
Devon & Cornwall Police 8 6 4 8
Dorset Police 10 12 13 4
Durham Constabulary 2 2 1 0
Essex Police 5
Gloucestershire Constabulary 2
Greater Manchester Police 3 3 1 6
Hampshire Constabulary 24
Hertfordshire Constabulary 2
Humberside Police 2 7 7
Kent Police * 7 15 13 4
Lancashire Constabulary
Leicestershire Police 10 12 13 8
Lincolnshire Police 4
Merseyside Police 2 0 10 1
Metropolitan Police Service
Norfolk Constabulary 7 8 3 2
North Yorkshire Police
Northamptonshire Police 0 0 39 8
Northumbria Police
Nottinghamshire Police * 4 4 4
South Yorkshire Police * 1 2 0 4
Staffordshire Police 0 1 0
Suffolk Constabulary 3 0 1 1
Surrey Police 1
Sussex Police
Thames Valley Police 6
Warwickshire Police * 1 5 3 6
West Mercia Police 4 4 3 4
West Midlands Police 1 8 10 10
West Yorkshire Police
Wiltshire Police 1 1 5 3

* = data not for full year
– = Police force does not hold this data

What’s next?

While the number of people utilising bicycles and walking more is on the up, national organisations have teamed up to form The Walking and Cycling Alliance, which consists of representatives from British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Sustrans, The Bicycle Association and The Ramblers.

The alliance are calling on the Department for Transport to increase budgets to help the UK meet it’s ambitious “net zero” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, claiming that increasing cycling and walking across the UK will also lead to better health.

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