More than 100 people were seriously injured on their bikes in incidents in Doncaster last year, according to figures revealed today.
The toll of injuries is disclosed in a report to Doncaster Council’s cabinet which shows the borough’s casualty rate to be running three times higher than neighbouring areas of Rotherham and Barnsley.
The statistics show that in 2012, there were 105 collisions. The previous year it was even higher, at 115. No other year since 2003 has seen a higher number.
A cyclist was killed in a fatal collision in both 2011 and 2012, the report states.
Uneven road surfaces and poor driving in by motorists are being blamed by cyclists.
The Doncaster figure for collisions is more than three times higher than the neighbouring boroughs of Rotherham and Barnsley, where the figure is 40 and 35 respectively.
Trevor Siddons of Doncaster Wheelers, a cycling club with 140 members which was consulted on the strategy, said the collisions would be prevented only with improved routes, drivers’ education and attitude. He said: “The problem is mainly roundabouts – the big ones like at Wheatley Park and at the racecourse.
“We need some safe routes in and out of Doncaster, it’s just if the will is there to do it. The cycle lane system needs improving, away from bouncing up and down kerbs.
“The main thing we need, apart from driver education, is that the law and attitudes need to change.”
The report also says children are most at risk of being involved in an accident. It says 16- to 19- and 30- to 39-year-old cyclists buck the trend of falling collisions with older age if looked at on collisions per year- of-age basis.
Pedal cycle collisions are highest from June to October, and the report says this would be expected as the weather is at its best and children are on holiday.
Most collisions occur in urban and residential settings, and the report says the increase in cycling appears to correspond with an increase in cycle collisions.
In the Doncaster Cycling Strategy draft report, before cabinet today, Doncaster Council has highlighted objectives to make the borough’s roads safer for cycling.
Doncaster is ranked seventh in Yorkshire for the number of people who cycle to work.
Since 2002 cycling has increased by 64 per cent from 2,089 to 3,286 cyclists a day in 2012.
In the new report from DMBC, residents said the top five problems for cyclists included cycle lanes, poor driving, bad road surfaces, lack of cycle parking and not enough cycle paths by roads.