Cycling injuries on Cambridgeshire roads have reached their highest level for 10 years.
A recent report by Cambridgeshire County Council found that the percentage of people injured in a cycling accident in the county went up 40% from 2013 to 2014, with a total of 67 cycling injuries in this period.
Half of these injuries, which ranged from minor to fatal injuries, took place in the city of Cambridge itself.
Cambridge is known by many to be the “City of Cycling” with one in five journeys made by bike. The city also has the highest level of commuter cycling in the country with one in three Cambridge residents cycling to work each day.
The report points to an increase in the number of bikes in Cambridgeshire as a possible reason behind the increase in cycling accidents with the Council estimating a 50% uptake in the use of bicycles in the county since 2004. The report also says that the number of car drivers and passengers injured in road traffic accidents in the city has more than halved in the same period.
Cambridge has high ambitions of becoming a world-class cycling city and wants to increase its cycling rates above those of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The report therefore must be a signal to council leaders that more must be done to ensure the safety of people cycling on the county’s roads.
Former professional cyclist and Olympic gold medal winner Chris Boardman visited Cambridge this week and urged the UK Government to reduce the speed limit in the city.
Speaking at the national conference for 20’s Plenty Boardman said, "Now is the time for the UK Government to show leadership and change the default limit to 20mph in residential and urban areas. This will save lives and make communities more pleasant places to live for us all.”
There is no doubt that the increase in accidents involving cyclists is a concerning trend and it serves to underline the importance of all road users taking reasonable care when using the roads. Having dealt with many cycling accident compensation claims, all too often we see what life-changing consequences can stem from a moment of inattention.
Mick Upton is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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