Rise in number of cyclists killed


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The Independent Online

The Government has been urged to improve safety on the roads for cycling after an increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured.

The Sustrans charity said the official figures should "sound the alarm" among ministers.

The Department for Transport data showed a total of 203,950 casualties in all road accidents reported to the police last year, 2 per cent lower than in 2010.

There were 1,901 people killed, a 3 per cent increase, and 23,122 seriously injured, up 2 per cent.

The number of fatalities fell for three types of road user - down by 22% for bus and coach occupants, 10 per cent for motor cyclists and 4% for pedal cyclists. Pedestrian and car occupant fatalities rose by 12 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

Sustrans said the figures also showed that the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed or seriously injured on British roads increased by 15 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

The charity's policy adviser Joe Williams said: "These figures should be sounding the alarm right at the top of government.

"The Government must act now to save lives on our streets.

"Practical and affordable measures, such as creating safe routes for cyclists and lowering the speed limit in our towns and cities from 30mph to 20mph could help prevent the increasing number of injuries and such tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

"The figures also show that cycling levels are increasing.

"Getting around on bike can no longer be dismissed as a niche mode of transport enjoyed by a few."