New figures released by Devon County Council show a 27 per cent increase in the number of cyclists killed, or seriously injured, in the county last year.

The council’s data showed that serious injuries rose by 7% despite an overall decrease in the total number of road traffic fatalities. A total of 33 cyclists were killed or injured on the county’s roads in 2013.

With motor traffic levels also on the rise in the county, there are fears that injury levels could continue to increase.

Gordon Hook, councillor for Teignbridge and vice-chairman of the committee that commissioned the report, said that the council had a responsibility to better educate drivers, and protect cyclists.

Helen Williams, a senior road accident solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Bristol office, said: “These new figures highlight, once again, how important it is to improve road safety for cyclists across the UK. This is in no way an issue unique to large cities. Cyclists up and down the country are left at risk of serious injury, and even death, due to the irresponsibility of other road users and a lack of investment in appropriate road safety measures.

“It is particularly worrying to see that cyclist injuries and fatalities in Devon have increased despite an overall fall in traffic fatalities. This further emphasises just how vulnerable cyclists are and how inadequately they are currently being protected.

“The government needs to give councils greater financial support so that they can actually implement improvements to road safety, which would better protect cyclists, and all other road users.”