Increase in cyclist deaths on Britain’s roads

Cyclist deaths on Britain’s roads have gone up 20% from spring 2008 to 2009, according to Department for Transport data.

Andrew Howard, Public Relations Director for AA says that the increase in deaths may be a result of more cyclists on the roads due to a combination of better weather conditions and a drive to save money.

He said: “We have seen quiet a hefty increase in petrol prices making more people think about how they can be more economical and of course how they could get more exercise out of going to work.”

A typical bicycle costs £300 and running a car can cost up to £2,000 annually or more, whereas an annual bus pass in Edinburgh costs £540.

Amy Wilson, a cyclist from Edinburgh says that there should be more respect from both cyclists and motorists.

She added: “There are so many bikes in Edinburgh and I think there is probably not enough provision for them.”

Bicycle shop owners in Edinburgh recorded a sharp increase in sales over the last two years and say this may also be the cause of the increase in accidents.

Gregor Russell, owner of Velo Ecosse said: “I think it is not surprising at all that there have been more accidents as there are more cyclists on the roads and the standards of driving is pretty poor.”

Nearly half of bicycle owners ride less than 5 miles per month even though 75% of the UK population lives within 2 miles of the National Cycle Network, according to AA.

Ian McKay, a motorist from Edinburgh says he pays attention to cyclists and gives plenty of space to them on the roads.

However, “My gripe with them is when I am a pedestrian and I am walking down the pavement and they are hammering towards me, I don’t think that should be allowed. I think there should be a clamp down and they should be fined”.