Portsmouth is cycle accident hotspot

There have been a high number of accidents involving bikes in Portsmouth
There have been a high number of accidents involving bikes in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH has high rate for bike accidents.

PORTSMOUTH is the worst place for being injured in bike accidents outside of London.

In the UK, 19,215 people were injured or killed while riding a bike.

But in Portsmouth alone, there were 983 people injured from bike accidents per million population in 2011, according to the Department for Transport.

It is an increase from 758 in 2010, and 683 per million in 2009. In 2008 the figure was 68 per 100,000 population.

Portsmouth City Council said it is investing money in to improving cycle paths in the city, in order to help bring down the rate.

Amber Kerens-Bathmaker, acting assistant head of transport and environment at the council, said: ‘We’re working hard to reduce cycling casualties.

‘With new funding for sustainable transport from the government, we’ll be able to do even more.

‘Over the next three years we’re spending just over £1m on improved cycle lanes and infrastructure schemes as well as £40,000 on adult cycle training and bike maintenance.

‘We already run cycle training in schools and for families during the holidays. We also go out on the streets with police, talking to cyclists without lights and giving out free hi-vis gear.

‘We’re running a campaign now for drivers to give young cyclists more space, and we work with schools to create safer cycling routes for pupils.

‘We have also improved many road junctions so they give cyclists safer places to cross.’

One of the reasons why Portsmouth has a high bike casulty rate is because there are more cyclists on the roads in the city.

Mrs Kerens-Bathmaker added: ‘We’re looking at these casualty figures to see what we can learn.

‘Portsmouth has the sixth highest cycling rate among English cities, and it could be that when you have more people cycling, accidents will inevitably be higher.

‘And we are the most densely-populated area outside central London. As cyclists are more likely to have accidents on busy urban streets, this might also have an impact on our figures.’

Southampton had the highest figure, with 817 casualties.

The figures were recorded in 2011.