Saturday, 5 December 2009

Cycle injuries rise in Brighton

My story on cycle injuries (above) as published in the Argus on November 30, and (below) as I wrote it. The national stats were published on November 5, and a 19% increase in fatalities among cyclists caused consternation. I thought it would be interesting to see how Brighton compared, since we're supposed to be a "Cycling City".

Cycle casualties on the roads of Brighton and Hove increased by 6.8% this spring, but the increase was below the national average of 9%.

During the second quarter (April-June) of 2009, compared with the same period last year, cycle casualties in Brighton and Hove rose from 44 to 47, an increase of 6.8%. Department for Transport statistics for the same period showed a national increase in cycle casualties of 9% to 4,806. The total casualties for all road users fell by 2% to 55,480.

There were no fatalities among cyclists in Brighton and Hove during these two quarters, but, in the rest of the UK, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured increased by 19% to 820.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Council supplied the data, and said: “At the moment we do not have data to indicate if there has been a proportionate increase in the use of cycles, which we believe to be the case.”

An increase in the numbers of cyclists on the road might be expected due to the promotion of sustainable transport within the City, and lower costs of cycling during the economic recession.

The spokesman said: “The Council works tirelessly and closely with other agencies and partners to reduce casualties on the City's streets, an example being the recent 'Brighten Up' campaign, jointly run by the Council and Sussex Police to target cyclists riding at night without lights. The enforcement side led to 116 fixed penalty notices being issued by the police and those stopped were given vouchers to collect free cycle lights from the Council.

“The responsibility for making the City's streets safer to use rests with all road user types. It is a shared responsibility and until everybody accepts that and does their bit to address road safety, instead of blaming everybody else, we will never be able to significantly impact on the unacceptable carnage on our roads.”
ENDS 318 words
26 November 2009

THE ONLINE version of this story has readers comments attached, which give a vivid picture of the growing conflict between motorists and cyclists in the UK. More people are cycling. It enrages motorists. See what I mean by taking at a look at the comments on my online story:
Cycle Casualties link.

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