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.