Portsmouth named as ‘most dangerous place to ride a bike’ outside London

Police at an accident involving a cyclist in Eastern Road, Portsmouth
Police at an accident involving a cyclist in Eastern Road, Portsmouth
A3 near Liphook. Picture: Google Maps

Two people taken to hospital after A3 crash

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ALARMING statistics have exposed Portsmouth as the most dangerous place for cyclists to ride outside London.

The Department for Transport has revealed that 888 cyclists were injured per one million of the population in 2015 – worse than anywhere else outside of the capital’s boroughs.

I don’t think we can pin the behaviour on any groups of people. There are individuals, whether it be drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, making safety critical decisions in difficult situations, and they are not getting any help.

Jon Spencer, of Portsmouth Cycle Forum

Portsmouth has now been ranked the highest for cycle casualties four out of the past five years – with the highest levels of casualties per million of the population coming in 2011 with 983.

Southampton was 10th worst this year with 513.

The rate is calculated by multiplying up the number of accidents if the population is not more than a million people. This allows the comparison to be made.

And campaigners say it is high time something drastic is finally done to improve the city’s danger roads before it is too late.

Jon Spencer, of Portsmouth Cycle Forum, said: ‘The figures speak for themselves – the roads are too dangerous. I don’t think we can pin the behaviour on any groups of people.

‘There are individuals, whether it be drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, making safety-critical decisions in difficult 
situations, and they are not getting any help.

‘We as a forum published our A City to Share strategy, and while lots of nice words has been said about it, it’s not had any attention and it’s about time the council does something.

‘It’s about improving the streets to make them safer.

‘People are squeezed out, there is no space for all the traffic we have got.’

While Portsmouth’s cycle casualty rate in 2014 was higher at 942, it has remained the worse area outside London since 2013, when it was second to Kingston-upon-Hull.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond has vowed to raise the issue with the government.

She said: ‘While I welcome the slight year-on-year fall in the number of road injuries in Portsmouth, there is of course a lot of work to do to protect all road users and pedestrians.

‘Road safety is everyone’s business and we need people to be responsible and considerate.

‘I hear lots of complaints from groups of road users about each other – from cyclists about careless drivers, from pedestrians about cyclists on the pavement. Projects like the cycle path in Goldsmith Avenue which has just been approved will make a difference.

‘I hope councillors will focus money on projects like this when it is available from the Community Investment Levy.

‘Groups like Friends of the Earth and Portsmouth Cycle Forum have great ideas, and we have to find the funding to allow them to be put into effect.

‘I will also be raising this with the minster.’

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