On your bikes

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The Independent Online

Britain's roads are getting safer. Last year, the number of road deaths was the lowest since the dawn of the motoring age. But for one group of road users the situation is getting worse: cyclists. Last year 134 were killed - an 18 per cent rise on 2003. On urban roads, the statistics are horrific, with cyclists 20 times more likely to be killed than car occupants. This represent a lamentable failure by both national and local authorities to promote safe cycling. We have too few dedicated cycle lanes and too little consideration is given to the needs of cyclists in road design. As a result, cycling is more dangerous than it ought to be.

What makes this more inexcusable is that the Government trumpets its green credentials. Bar walking, cycling is the greenest and healthiest form of transport. Ministers should be pulling out the stops to encourage people to get on their bikes. Instead, the policy is one of neglect. This is bad for the environment, and bad for the safety of those on two wheels.