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1 per cent increase in serious cycling casualties in first quarter of 2015

Figures come as ONS repeats Census data highlighting growth in cycle commuting

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) on Great Britain’s roads rose by 1 per cent during the year to March 2015, according to preliminary data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the number of KSIs recorded during the first three months of this year registered a 14 per cent drop on the period January to March 2014, standing at 580.

Compared to the annual average for the period 2005-09, the year to March 2015 saw increases of 35 per cent for cycling KSIs and 31 per cent for all types of casualty, including slight injuries.

Across all classes of road user, the total number of fatalities in the 12 months to March fell 1 per cent in the year to March, and total injuries were down 2 per cent over the same period.

As the ONS points out, issues such as changes in the weather from year to year can make it difficult to compare different periods accurately, and while it does now provide figures for total distance travelled to give further insight into long-term trends, that does not include travel by bike.

The data have been made public on the same day that the ONS repeated Census figures – previously analysed in a separate release in March last year – that showed a 14 per cent increase from 2001-11 in the number of people aged 16-74 in England and Wales who commute mainly by bike.

By region, double-digit percentage increases were seen in the North East, Wales, and the South West, all of which recorded growth of between 10 and 20 per cent. Decreases were seen in the West Midlands, the East Midlands, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the East of England.

By far the biggest growth however was recorded among residents of Greater London, with the number of people living there who use a bike as their main means of travelling to work doubling during the decade to stand at 155,000.

That figure, however, would not only exclude London residents who use, for example, a train for most of their commute but ride a bike to or from the station, but also those who work in the capital but live outside it and use a bicycle for all or part of their commute.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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