Cyclist deaths rise as recession encourages more to use bikes
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Between April and June the total was 820, a 19 per cent rise on the same period of 2008, figures showed yesterday.
Slight injuries to cyclists rose by 7 per cent this spring to 4,040, provisional figures from the Department for Transport revealed.
There was also an increase in motorcycle casualties, with those killed or seriously injured rising by 5 per cent to 1,870 in spring 2009 and slight injuries going up by 2 per cent to 4,200.
Experts said a combination of more people trying to keep fit and more using bicycles instead of cars to save money during the recession may have contributed.
Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, said: ’These changes (in cycling and motorcycling casualties) could just reflect the effects of the recession, and differences in the weather.
’At the same time, it is clear that there are new patterns in accidents occurring - for example, the six lady cyclists killed in London in collisions with goods vehicles in the first half of the year.’
Road safety campaigners are worried about cyclists being crushed by turning lorries when out of sight in a blind spot.
But ’Lycra lout’ cyclists have also been blamed for putting themselves and pedestrians at risk.
The Government was accused of turning a blind eye to ’irresponsible’ antics of what one MP described as ’Darth Vaders’ on wheels.