Birmingham is the most dangerous city for cycling , a new report says.
Bikers in Birmingham are most likely to suffer from poorly-maintained road surfaces and steep pathways where less than 50% are equipped with optimal lighting, the report by Claims.co.uk said.
However, a Birmingham City Council spokesperson criticised the methology behind the research.
The aim is to ensure 50% of all journeys in towns and cities should be walked or cycled by 2030. The government announced £200 million for new active travel schemes across England, including £35 million for the National Cycle Network and a new £8 million e-cycle programme in May 2022.
Claims.co.uk looked at various aspects of the cycling routes and found that Birmingham scores a 6.25/10 on steepness, 6.75/10 on average bike accident score, 9/10 on surface quality score, and 8.75/10 on dim lighting. All the other cities were also categorised under these criteria.
A council spokesperson said: “We are of course fully committed to improving cycling facilities and other sustainable transport options in the city, in conjunction with partners at a regional and national level – as is evidenced by the development of new cycle routes and bike hire services.
“As such, the methodology behind this piece of research, promoting an insurance company, is somewhat puzzling. No council, despite its best efforts, would be able to amend the natural topography within its area and the subjective nature of some of the criteria described raises a question about the validity of the data as a means of rating different towns and cities.
“When these figures are further examined, they do not appear to take into accounts economies of scale (Birmingham being the largest council in the UK) or any other localised factors.”
A number of routes are available in Birmingham for cycling and you can plan your route using Cycle Streets.
What are the other dangerous cities for cycling?
The other dangerous cities for cycling were Newcastle upon Tyne, Plymouth, Sheffield, London, Preston, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Bristol and Brighton and Hove.
While more people have taken up cycling since the pandemic, so has the number of accidents involving them.
In 2020, 141 pedal cyclists were killed in Great Britain, whilst 4,215 were reported to be seriously injured and 11,938 slightly injured, according to the Department of Transport. During 2020, pedal cyclist fatalities rose by 41% while pedal cyclist traffic rose by 46%.
What are the safest cities for cycling?
You can safely cycle in Chelmsford, Worcester, Nottingham, Lincon, Gloucester, Cambridge, Leicester, York, Wakefield, St Albans, and Norwich.
Claims.co.uk studied more than 12,000 cycling routes from a reputable cycling network site, and analysed the number of bike accidents, average steepness, surface quality, and lighting across cycling routes. They acquired the average change in each route’s steepness by extracting elevation data of land. Road casualty data from 2016 to 2020 was obtained from official reports released by the Department of Transport, in order to identify the number of incidents occurred along selected major cycling paths used in the study. All data was collected in April 2022 and is accurate as of then.
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