A cyclist has told how there is still a “selfish” attitude on the road when it comes to motorists and bike riders.
Peter Ward, the chairman of the Guild Wheel user group, has been a cyclist for the best part of his life and said although the average number of problems with drivers he encounters each month hasn’t increased, the problem is still there.
He said: “Although the number of people driving cars has increased the number of incidents has stayed the same, that doesn’t mean to say that it isn’t a problem. There is a selfish, arrogant and bullying attitude towards cyclists and a lack of understanding at how vulnerable a cyclist is.”
Mr Ward’s comments come after figures showed the number of pedal cyclists killed has risen.
The Department for Transport (DfT) released figures for 2012 which show that the number of pedal cyclists killed rose by 10 per cent to 118 and the number of seriously injured cyclists rose, for the eighth year in a row, to 3,222.
The increase in deaths was mainly among the young with the number of child cyclists killed doubling from 6 in 2011 to 13 in 2012, although the number of seriously injured fell by a fifth.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is now calling for safer roads for cyclists, greater provision in cyclist training and better driver awareness.
Mr Ward also said that to he would advise cyclists to wear helmets. However he added: “There are countries that have imposed them and made it a rule and a lot of people are put off.
“I would sooner do it through education. I think young and inexperienced cyclists should wear a helmet.”
The DfT report also highlights that the increased popularity of cycling on Great Britain’s roads since 2004, may have contributed to a general rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “As well as boosting the provision of cyclist training and trying to make the roads safer for cyclists, we also need to hammer home the message to drivers to keep their speed down, watch out for cyclists and give them enough room on the road.”
The annual casualty statistics also showed that there were 61 children killed on the roads in 2012, one more than in 2011. The number of seriously injured children fell by 6 per cent to 2,211 in 2012.
There were 420 pedestrian deaths in 2012, a fall of 7 per cent on the previous year, however the number of seriously injured pedestrians rose by 2 per cent to 5,559.
The number of motorcyclists killed fell by 9 per cent to 328 in 2012.