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Promoting the Benefits of Cycling in London

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rollingsons’ personal injury solicitors are well aware of the dangers posed to cyclists on the roads of London but there are good reasons to not be put off. The introduction of so-called ‘Boris Bikes’ has made cycling more accessible to visitors to London as well as Londoners and steps are being taken to improve cycling safety.

However, despite Boris Bikes, last year’s summer of sport and on-going road improvements, for the first time in a decade the number of people cycling in the capital actually fell in 2012. This may have been down to the weather but it may also be that questions over safety are frightening people off the roads.

Recent Cycling Accidents

According to a Transport for London report, 16 cyclists were killed and 555 injured in 2011. The risks of cycling are readily visible and cyclists may feel vulnerable when faced with urban traffic so the stats on recent cycling accidents are not encouraging.

However, it can be argued that the risks of cycling decrease as the number of cyclists increases; in 1994 there were 19 fatal cycling accidents despite the number of cyclists being approximately half of what it is now. One explanation is that motorists have adjusted their behaviour to allow for the increased number of cyclists.

Improvements for Cycling Safety in London

There is evidence that more is being done to improve cycling safety in London. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s big idea to address safety concerns focused on the introduction of ‘Cycle Superhighways’. Their aim is to give cyclists safe, continuous and easily navigable routes into central London.

While there may have been some improvements, the pace of change is not overwhelming; plans for Cycle Superhighways have been on the table since 2010. Where steps have been taken to implement cycle highways, cyclists often complain that their ‘continuous route’ is blocked by parked cars or delivery vehicles.

Promoting the Benefits of Cycling

The Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies recently began promoting the benefits of cycling. She recommended cycling as a way to help prevent many major diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. She also stated that the benefits of cycling far outweighed the risks.

If nationwide figures are taken into account, there were 111 cycling deaths in 2010 compared with over 65000 deaths from heart disease in the same period. If cycling safety is improved there are further benefits to be had.

There are plenty of measures that can be taken by individual cyclists to reduce the risks of cycling but if you are injured when out on the roads we can help you. If you need advice on personal injury please contact Sarah Vincent by email or by telephone 020 7611 4848.

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