UK road deaths at record low

New figures show UK road deaths are at the lowest since records began, but cyclist casualties rise

Road casualty figures have dropped to the lowest since records began 90 years ago, according to government statistics.

Between 2011-12, the total number of road deaths fell 8% to 1,754 – the lowest since figures were first collected in 1926. Serious injuries fell by 0.4%. Motorcyclist deaths were also down 9%, and serious injuries for this group dropped 5%.

However, cyclist deaths rose 10% in 2012, with 118 people being killed. In 2011, 107 cyclists were killed, marking the lowest number in 62 years.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “The good news of a large drop in road deaths in 2012 is marred by an increase in cyclist deaths, which occurred despite the poor weather in the main cycling seasons of spring and summer.”

While car and taxi traffic decreased overall, the figures show that the greatest number of accidents took place on roads in built-up areas with speed limits of 30mph or less.

Cycling safety campaigners say that cycling in the UK is much riskier than in countries such as Denmark or the Netherlands, where cycle use is much higher.

In April an all-party group of MPs published a report detailing ways to boost the number of Britons cycling in a safer environment, but the government has not yet commented on its proposals.