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How safe are Britain’s roads for cyclists?

  • July 31, 2017
  • By Grace
How safe are Britain’s roads for cyclists?

In the UK, 90% of all journeys made are completed on our roads, leaving the other 10% for journeys completed on paths, railway lines, and other routes. On these roads, 83% of journeys were undertaken in a car, van or taxi – covering more than 600 billion kilometres over the course of the year.

In 2014, 1% of the total number of vehicles used on our roads were accounted for by bicycles, which is a 13% decrease in cycle use since 1952, when the official figure stood at 14%. But why have cycling rates decreased over time? Specialists in bicycle accident claims, True Solicitors establish just how safe our roads truly are, and explore why their numbers are decreasing.

Analysing British roads

Of those over the age of 18, 1.5 million people cycled on a daily basis, which accounts for 3% of the people surveyed, according to The British Social Attitudes 2015 survey.

34 million suggested that they had never cycled, which is contrasted by 69% of those surveyed. This is as a direct result of the clear lack of cyclists across the UK more generally. However, by analysing individual countries within the UK, the idea that Britain is uninclined to use a bicycle as a form of transport on our roads becomes clearer.


Less than the national average, the Active People Survey, surveying over 16s between 2014 and 2015, has suggested that 3% cycled five times a week (1.3 million). The survey also found that 15% cycled at least once per month, which equates to 6.6 million people. This suggests that cyclists are choosing to use their bikes within a leisure capacity – as opposed to using them as a form of transport, which as we go on to discuss – does form a correlation with the nature of cycling accidents throughout the UK.


6% claimed that they cycled 1-2 times a day in 2014-15 of those surveyed over the age of 16; this is a similar figure to the 3% in England who cycled five times a week.


Cyclists in Scotland were still below an average of 10%, based of the total number of people surveyed, which is not dissimilar to England and Wales. As a means of transport, 3% of people aged over 16 used a bicycle 1-2 days a week. 2% used one 3-5 days a week, and only 1% used a bicycle nearly every day of the week.

It’s clear that the average cyclist in Britain is faced with many challenges when on our roads, and it is evident that they feel that their safety is compromised. For Britain to be willing to use cycling more enthusiastically as an everyday form of transport, perhaps the safety of our roads need to be improved first.

By Grace, July 31, 2017
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