Northern Ireland

Concerns as 265 cyclists killed or seriously injured between 2014-2018

265 cyclists were killed or seriously injured between 2014-2018
265 cyclists were killed or seriously injured between 2014-2018

THE number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the roads in Northern Ireland continues to increase, new figures have revealed.

According to statistics just released 265 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the four years between 2014-2018.

This analysis was commissioned by Promotion and Outreach Branch at the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).

The information used in the report will now be used by the department to support policy development and will help reduce casualty figures in the roads.

The statistics show that the annual average number of injured and killed while cycling between 2014-2018 is 53, which is 74 per cent greater than the 2004-2008 baseline average.

Pedal cyclists account for just one per cent of all miles travelled per person each year and yet the casualty rate stands at six per cent

The figures reveal that most casualties over the four year period were male – 226 or 86 per cent, while 39, or 15 per cent, were women.

Read More: The coolest cycling kit for acing commutes and at-home training

The death and injury toll was greatest in the 35-49 age group with a total of 37 per cent, while almost a quarter of casualties, 24 pe rcent, were were aged between 50-64.

Analysis shows that the summer months are the most dangerous to be on the road with July and August producing the greatest number, 69 or 26 pe rcent, of people hurt or killed.

It has also emerged that 31 percent of those of people killed and injured were responsible for the collisions.

The majority of casualties took place on urban roads.

Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan last night said has written to the DfI minister Nichola Mallon on the need for improved safety measures for cyclists.

“It is clear that the safety of cyclists is a major concern which is deterring people from taking up this great form of transport,” he said.

“We need to look at ways to maximise safety for cyclists, such as cycling lanes separated from traffic, as well as improving other road users’ respect for cyclists.

“This could be done by the inclusion of increased education around cyclists as part of driving lessons and tests.”

He said he also raised the need for a specific safe passing law with the minister.

“It is vital that action is taken on this issue immediately in order to preserve the increased popularity of cycling as a mode of transport during the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

He added that more action is needed.

“However, these figures released today clearly indicate more needs to be done to improve cyclist safety on our roads,” he said.

“If we really want more people to adopt cycling, these vital safety concerns need to be properly addressed.”