Dismay as latest crash stats for Great Britain show 13% increase in cyclist casualties

The latest quarterly road casualties figure from the Department for Transport show a marked increase in casualties for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

Cyclist casualties for the first three months in 2012 in Great Britain are up 13% on the same period in 2011, with little indication that cycling nationwide has risen by the same amount (despite the increases in London).

Pedestrian and motorcyclist casualties are up 8% year on year, while car casualties are down 4%.

These figures come not long after the announcement of a 16% increase in cyclist casualties in 2011, which follows years of steady decline in casualties nationwide.

While it’s impossible to prove a single cause for these increases, it's notable that they've occurred in the aftermath of the Coalition Government’s post-election anti-road safety rhetoric, when ministers claimed they would end the so-called “war on motorists”.

In 2010, there was a clear signal to local authorities that reducing danger on our roads wasn’t a priority: budgets for traffic law enforcement were cut, resulting in less stringent policing and fewer speed cameras.

Two years later, we appear to be seeing the results of these misguided policies: the most vulnerable on our roads – people on foot, bikes and motorcycles – are the ones paying a heavy price.

Despite the frequent media emphasis on cyclist misbehaviour (which causes very few casualties), in London it’s a daily event to witness cars and trucks speeding, drivers talking on mobile phones, and inconsiderate or erratic driving.