More than 50 cyclists injured on London’s roads in the last month have become the first to take part in an 18-month research project which seeks to make cycling in the capital safer. As part of the ongoing Bespoke Study, injured cyclists attending The Royal London Hospital will be asked a series of questions about their accidents.
Between 2004 and 2014 The Royal London Hospital saw a near 400 per cent increase in the number of cyclists admitted with fatal or serious injuries. Questions asked of patients will include whether they were listening to music, whether they had lights and whether they were wearing a helmet or reflective clothing. Six weeks after discharge, they will again be questioned to find out how the incident has affected their daily life and attitude to cycling.
The Bespoke team are also asking people to log cycling collisions, incidents and near misses through the Collideosco.pe app and website. Although the Bespoke project is London focused, the site can be used to record incidents nationwide.
Professional rider Alex Dowsett, who receives treatment for haemophilia at the Royal London hospital, has previously lent his support for Collideosco.pe, saying: “I got involved because I have had some near misses on the road myself. It’s a good tool to advise doctors of the most likely injuries cyclists are likely to get.”
Mr Manoj Ramachandran, Consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and Bespoke Project Lead, said:
“We are looking at where and how cycling accidents happen in London and then the impact the injuries and trauma sustained have on everyday life.
“We want to explore if the collision changed work and daily living activities, quality of life and whether the accident has affected people’s cycling habits.
“The overall aim of the project is to contribute data that will help make cycling in London safer and help promote cycling with all its associated health, environmental and transport benefits.
“We also hope that this will become a model used in other cities across the country which could have a real impact on accident prevention and the management of cycling injuries.”
The patient study will run for 18 months. At that point, results will be published and sent to Transport for London, London Cycling Campaign and local borough councils.
The Bespoke project has been backed by Cycling UK president and Channel 4 News presenter, Jon Snow, who said: “The innovative Bespoke data project led by researchers in London’s biggest emergency department is key to unlocking data which is currently lacking from the debate about cycle safety in London. I urge all London cyclists to get involved. The only way we will win significant provision for cycling is through evidence. So let's collect it together by using Collideoscope.”