Rise in crashes involving cyclists as more people in Yorkshire take up their bike

The number of road collisions involving cyclists has risen, police in North Yorkshire have revealed.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 1:35 pm
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 1:36 pm

The proportion of collisions that involved bikes in the county rose from 20 per cent to 27 per cent for the same four week period last year and this year.

It comes as more people have taken up cycling as part of their daily exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown.

North Yorkshire Police has also stated that while roads are quieter currently, there has also been an increase in speeding incidents.

A lone cyclist rides past Barden Tower on Good Friday during the coronavirus lockdown.

The force has now teamed up with City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council and issued an appeal urging drivers and cyclists to "share the road" in order to keep each other safe.

Collisions on the road add unnecessary burden to stretched emergency services, while injuries would also add unnecessary stress to the NHS during the current health crisis.

Authorities are urging the public to continue abiding by current Government regulations of only leaving the house for one form of exercise a day, while also remembering that less traffic "does not always mean safer traffic".

Cyclists should also wear protective and visible clothing while signalling to others on the road when turning.

Cyclists at Ripon Cathedral

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Drivers meanwhile should stick to the rules by only making essential journeys, giving cyclists enough room when passing and to expect the unexpected, particularly on narrow country roads and on blind spots.

North Yorkshire Police Sergeant Kirsten Aldridge said: “We’ve seen a lot more cyclists using our roads recently, from young families and novices to experienced riders. The number of collisions involving cyclists has also sadly risen during this time.

“But if drivers and cyclists remember to share the road and stick to the rules this weekend, their risk of being involved in a serious crash can be significantly reduced.”

The roads are quieter but North Yorkshire Police has said more people are speeding.

Deputy leader of City of York Council, Councillor Andy D’Agorne said: “It’s vital, now more than ever, that we all share the road and treat each other with care and respect to ensure the NHS is not put under more stress.

“All road users need to look out for one another, especially with the influx of people exercising daily, whether that is walking, running or cycling, following the social distancing guidance. This may mean that cyclists sometimes use roads when there are cycle paths to ensure they give pedestrians the required space. If everyone shares the road and follows the rules we can keep each other safe.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Road Safety, said: “Road safety is a priority for the County Council. We work closely with other local authorities, emergency services and other agencies in the 95 Alive road safety partnership to make sure our roads are as safe as they can be.

“We fully understand why many people wish to cycle during this period of lockdown, and so we urge all road users to be especially vigilant and to keep to the rules in order to minimise the risk of collision.”