Figures released have shown that cycling fatalities have hit a five year high across the country.
Official figures revealed 1,792 people were killed on the roads in 2016 – up 62, or four per cent, according to the Department of Transport. The number of car occupants killed (816) was up 8 per cent, pedestrian deaths (448) rose 10 per cent while cycling fatalities (102) were up 2 per cent.
The number of children dying rose 28 per cent to 69, the number of motorcyclists killed on the roads (319) dropped 13 per cent with “other” deaths (107) up 4 per cent. The Department for Transport described the overall rise in road deaths as “not statistically significant” – sparking uproar from motoring and cycling organisations.
AA President Edmund King said: “Five deaths per day is totally unacceptable. Whilst the increase may not be statistically significant it is certainly significant to the 62 individuals and their families.”
Other campaigners said road users would view the figures “with dismay” and called for the creation of a road accident investigation branch.
British Cycling policy advisor and former Olympic gold medal winner Chris Boardman says that a 5 per cent annual rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads is “concerning”.
Boardman said that the data “shows that more needs to be done to make Britain’s roads safe, not just for cyclists, but for drivers and pedestrians.
“The number of people being killed and seriously injured is increasing, showing a lack of resources focusing on the real cause of dangers on the road,” he added.
His comments came as Devon and Cornwall
Police launched its Operation Close Pass to
promote safe overtaking.
ROSPA road safety manager Nick Lloyd said: “Britain traditionally has one of the best road safety records in the world, but we must focus our efforts through effective education, engineering and enforcement if we are to make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”