Alarming Rise In Cycling Deaths

Wed 6th Oct 2021

The Covid lockdown in 2020 had both a positive and negative effect on road deaths according to the latest figures published by the Department for Transport.

The data reveals that, as expected, motor vehicle use fell significantly with a 21 per cent drop, mainly due to the fact that the entire nation was locked indoors for huge chunks of the year, and even when we were released many of us were working from home. There were an estimated 1,460 road deaths in 2020, a 17 per cent decline on the previous year’s figure (1,460).

One of the major impacts of Covid lockdown was an increase in people taking up cycling, particularly as many millions of people were furloughed, and this sadly saw a rise in cycling deaths from 100 to 141. Cyclists were the only road users to see an increase in deaths in 2020, with cars, motor cyclists and even pedestrians seeing a fall.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has expressed its concerns for the rise in cycling deaths.

“We welcome the fact that more people have been getting out on their bikes and recognise the reduction in the rate of deaths per mile travelled,” said David Walker, head of road and leisure safety.

“However, this should not distract from the shocking fact that more cyclists died on our roads than in the previous year.

“At RoSPA we believe that having more cyclists and pedestrians should not result in an increased number of serious and fatal accidents involving vulnerable road users.

“We must continue to act decisively if we want to maintain the position of British roads being among the safest in the world.”