Cyclists seriously injured or killed on Surrey's roads has doubled
THE number of serious injuries among cyclists on Surrey's roads has doubled since 2008, a new report reveals.
In 2008 there were 50 KSIs (killed or seriously injured) among our cyclists, but last year this jumped to 107, with one killed and 106 maimed.
Over the past few years, Surrey has ranked among the worst-performing counties across the UK for percentage reduction in KSIs.
Surrey County Council's road safety team manager Duncan Knox said: "The number of casualties has increased. If you look just at that we don't compare very well to other areas.
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"We realised we were seeing more serious injuries and did a detailed analysis, and it turned out there were two main causes: firstly cyclists falling off or hitting a companion, and cyclists hitting a vehicle coming out of a 'give way' junction.
"We think it likely there's been an increase in the number of serious accidents as there has been an increase in cycling, but we have to acknowledge we don't have enough data."
He added he was not sure the extent to which potholes were to blame.
Among the proposals designed to tackle the problem are plans to introduce more widespread cycle-training provision, for adults as well as children, and a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the risk to cyclists among motorists.
Adrian Webb, chairman of Redhill Cycling Club, believes the state of Surrey's roads is a significant factor. He said: "Surrey does have a problem with road maintenance. Our pothole record is poor and many potholes are a massive danger to cyclists because the act of avoiding one can cause a cyclist to have to move into the line of cars, while not avoiding one can cause a serious fall.
"With so much cycling taking place in the county in the run-up to the Olympics, our roads are on the world stage now and currently they are not up to scratch."
He added the popularity of cycling in the county accounted in part for the high level of injuries.
Fellow cyclist Paul Dewey, 35, of Glovers Road, who is a house-husband, added: "I had an accident three weeks ago on the A217 – it was either hit the pothole or a car.
"I cycle in Norfolk and the roads there are beautiful, and they only usually have tractors on them."