Thompsons Solicitors has welcomed a £94m government cash injection into cycling safety but calls for more to be done to reverse the rising numbers of cyclists being killed and seriously injured.
The funding will be awarded to eight cities and four national parks across England to help promote safer cycling, improve existing cycle routes and help start a “cycling revolution”.
Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich will receive a combined £77m, and the New Forest, Peak District, South Downs and Dartmoor will get a share of £17m.
Number of cyclist fatalities continues to rise
The number of cyclists on the roads has increased in recent years but campaign groups argue that the rise in the number of deaths and injuries is disproportionately greater. Department of Transport (DfT) statistics show that cyclist fatalities are the only category of road casualties that continues to rise. The number of cyclist deaths increased by 10% during 2012 to 118, with serious injuries up by 4% to 3222.
The government announced its commitment to cutting “red tape” to allow cyclist-friendly planning in new road infrastructure projects. Councils will also be required to deliver cycle-proofed road designs.
Cyclist safety should be a requirement of all future road designs
Peter Mulhern, head of serious injuries at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Having represented hundreds of victims and their families who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of cycling accidents, we welcome an acknowledgement from the government of the need to bring our road infrastructure up to standards that will make cycling in our cities easier and safer.
"Statistics showing that serious injuries to cyclists have increased eight years running are shocking. Cyclist safety should be a requirement of all future road designs and the onus should be on local authorities to play their part in ensuring both new and existing routes and junctions are up to standard.
“Since 2010, the government has axed targets to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads. While this funding is a welcome start to tackling cycling safety, there is still much more to be done.”
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