One fifth of Wales’ cycling accidents happen in Cardiff

June 27, 2012 12 Comments »

A fifth of all cycling accidents in Wales last year were in Cardiff.

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads, with a fifth of all accidents happening in Cardiff.

Across Wales a total of 118 bike riders were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in 2011, up 74% on the previous year and the highest number since 1997.

In total, 521 cyclists were injured on Welsh roads last year, of which 116 were cycling in Cardiff – 22% of the total.

Jane Lorimer, deputy director of Sustrans Cymru, said: “These shocking figures prove why we must act now to make our towns and cities safer for cycling.

“The Active Travel (Wales) Bill – which aims to create more safe routes for people travelling on foot and by bike – will be crucial in achieving this, and these stats bear out how important it is for this new law to make it through our Assembly.

“But there is more that can be done locally too. 20mph speed limits save lives, local authorities in Wales must heed this stark wake-up call and use their powers to ensure no more needless deaths occur on our roads.”

Between 2002 and 2011, 70% of all accidents where a cyclist was killed or seriously injured occurred on roads with a 30mph speed limit and 23% occurred on roads with a 60 or 70mph speed limit.

A Cardiff council spokesman said the authority takes the safety of all its road users seriously.

“We have developed a Strategic Cycle Network Plan, a comprehensive plan for the development of a city-wide core cycle network,” he said.

“The network is being developed through a combination of more traffic-free cycling facilities, measures to make the roads safer for cycling including traffic calming, better cycle lanes and changes to road junctions to make them more cycle friendly, continuous and legible directional signing of all of the core routes, a series of mass actions including advanced stop lines at junctions, and better maintenance of the road network to address cyclists’ needs.”

He said the council is also implementing the second phase of a Safer Routes in Communities project, which aims to promote walking and cycling through a series of safety improvements, focussing on key junctions in the Roath and Cathays area.

A Welsh Government spokesman said it was extremely disappointed with the significant rise in the number of cyclist casualties, and would look at the most vulnerable groups and how it can target resources to reduce casualties.

Why do you think could be done to make cycling in Cardiff safer? Let us know in the comments below.

You can also read our guest blog from city bike shop Tredz on how to stay safe when cycling in Cardiff.

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  1. John Th June 27, 2012 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Cyclists could do a lot to help themselves. Think of other road users & pedestrians, make sure other motorists know you are there & where you are. Manouvre with caution & thinking of other vehicle positions. I live in Cardiff Bay & regularly see crazy cyclists travelling too fast thinking they can do what they like, down here many cyclist routes are also pedestrian walkways. Regularly cyctists pass me, literally inches away & I do not know they are coming, would it be too much to ask for them to use their bell.

    • secretdancer June 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      @John Th – what you describe with regard to manoeuvres, positioning, speed of travel, etc. are the exact same problems cyclists experience with vehicles. I cycle daily on the city's roads, wearing high vis to make sure I am seen. I do not run red lights, cycle courteously and prominently but I still have cars, lorries, buses, etc passing within inches of me. Is it too much to ask for them to give us a little space?

      I am also a pedestrian. I too hold my head in my hands when I see poor cyclists flouting the rules and cycling dangerously in shared spaces. There is no excuse, they should be more considerate as they unfortunately tar everyone with the same brush.

      • John Th June 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

        I fully accept your comments, bottom line – these issues are caused by bad drivers & cyclists. Over recent years the no of traffic police patrolling roads has dramatically decreased. In my view this glut of bad driving (& cycling) is a direct result of this.
        I understand that there is a policy to increase the no of traffic police on all roads. If these extra traffic police (& normal police) are prepared to stop bad drivers & just have a little word in their ears (not necessarily prosecute, just advise), then we can dramatically make all roads considerably safer.
        So I say to can you please pass these comments onto the Police & encourage them to help with road safety.

        • IanPery June 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm - Reply

          Some of the "bad cyclists" are Police Officers… They like many cyclists/people on bicycles, cycle too close to the kerb, parked vehicles and other obstructions and hazards.

          It's an unfortunate truth that some who think that their behaviour is good and safe (and that the problems are caused by others) are viewed by others as dangerous… We need more tolerance and understanding, not people going around, telling others how to behave.

  2. @markturner June 27, 2012 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Without information about the proportion of cyclists in Wales who are in Cardiff, this statistic tells us very little.

  3. MrCeri June 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    What @markturner said.

    Considering around 10% of the Welsh population live in Cardiff, and considering a large commuter city will likely have a higher percentage of cyclists than rural areas, the statistic in the title doesn't seem that alarming.

    Without knowing what proportion of Welsh cyclists are based in Cardiff, it's entirely possible that Cardiff is a safer place to cycle than the rest of Wales!

    Not saying we shouldn't be worried about the general rise in accidents and shouldn't make every effort to improve safety, just pointing out that people should understand the statistics before panicking.

  4. Jonno June 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Today, in Cardiff, I saw 3 cyclists ride through red traffic lights. About normal for a day in the city.

    There is no doubt in my mind where the blame for accidents lies.

    • secretdancer June 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      On an average day I see at least half a dozen drivers squeeze through deliberately on amber/red instead of waiting. Is this ok?

      Yes, those 3 cyclists were wrong, but why should they be singled out from the countless drivers who do the same thing. For some reason it's accepted for motorists as "Well, that's just the way it is [shrug]"! Why is it ok for one set of road users to break the rules, when another more vulnerable set be cast into eternal damnation? They're all in the wrong.

      • attila the hun July 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm - Reply

        Because the consequences of these actions are undoubtedly more potentially dangerous to the person commiting the offence. The car driver is, at worst , going to bend some metal. Where as the risk of serious injury or death to the cyclist is a real possibility. I am not saying the motorist cannot be injured or killed but it is very much less likely. Both road users are wrong to jump lights but cyclists need to take even more care due to the potential outcome to themselves.

        • secretdancer July 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm - Reply

          The consequences of a car driver jumping a red light go way beyond potentially bending some metal. It's not always another car they may come into conflict with, there are other more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. This applies to cyclists too, but the consequences of a motorist jumping red lights are much more severe.

  5. Max July 4, 2012 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I have deep compassion for al stressed-out drivers on the roads around Cardiff. Enclosed in a metal box, the only way to experience one's identity is by letting the ego (mind) overpower. Not only are drivers physically caged, the complexity of the road infrastructure, rules and increasing amount of road users put more and more stress on the responsibility people who operate killing machines hold. Driving is a privilege grated by a licence, the human body is to beautiful to be in a box.

  6. Retrovelo October 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    cyclists should not be having to share a road. Give them their own lanes. Look to Holland. Its the only way.

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