Norfolk sees fall in cyclists involved in crashes

The number of cyclists involved in crashes on Norfolk's roads has fallen over the last three years with bike riders not to blame in the vast majority of cases, new figures have revealed.

Figures released by Norfolk Constabulary under the freedom of information act show that in the last three years there have been 635 accidents involving cyclists of which 186 (29pc) were the fault of the bike riders involved.

Of the 221 collisions in 2008 one person was killed, while 39 were regarded as serious, with the rest recorded as slight. Police records said that in 63 cases the cyclist was at fault.

Meanwhile in 2009 there was a slight rise in collisions with 232 recorded. Of these 37 were serious and one was a fatal collision, while the number of incidents where the cyclist was blamed fell slightly to 57.

Last year saw a bigger fall in the number of crashes with 182 recorded. Of these 24 were serious, and there were no deaths involved. The number where cyclists were blamed also fell to 55.

However because of the fall in accidents last year, that actually meant cyclists were responsible in 30pc of cases in 2010 compared to 25pc in 2009, and 29pc in 2008.

Figures for this year up to May show that there were 76 accidents involving cyclists and of those 11 saw the bike rider at fault (14pc).

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Michael Dale, consultation officer for the Norwich Cycling Campaign said the fall in accidents was part of a national trend and came at a time when more people were using their bikes to get around.

However he believed the increasing numbers of people turning to pedal power to get around may explain the fall as awareness among motorists also increases.

'Across the country the overall number of accidents caused by cyclists is coming down,' he said. 'We are already one of the safest places in Europe to cycle, walk, or drive and we are getting safer. That's to be welcomed.

'However there's a perception that cyclists are to blame, which doesn't match the reality. But overall what we are really interested in is getting the number of accidents down. There are more people cycling, some of it is to do with economic climate, but the rate of accidents has fallen dramatically.'

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