CALDERDALE is the most dangerous place to cycle in the UK, it has been revealed.
The area finished last in a cycling safety list and the news isn’t much better for Kirklees which finished eighth from bottom in the CTC’s – Britain’s national cycling organisation – survey of English local authorities.
The report, which uses Department of Transport statistics, found Calderdale had an average of 158 cycle commuters killed or seriously injured per 10,000 commuters between 2003-2007.
Kirklees fared little better with an average of 87 killed or seriously injured in the same period.
York finished best with 10 deaths or serious injuries.
The report found cycling was safer in areas where greater numbers of commuters cycled to work.
Last year in Kirklees 18 cyclists were seriously injured compared to 72 pedestrians either killed or seriously injured and 65 car occupants killed or seriously injured.
Some 28 were injured in Calderdale in 2008.
Huddersfield’s Leeds Road (A62) corridor, Bradford Road (A641) and Wakefield Road (A629) have been earmarked for improvements to make cycling safer.
Kirklees councillor Martyn Bolt – himself a keen cyclist and the CTC’s development officer said: “Councils can re-jig the statistics, but there are real issues there.
“Kirklees has won several awards in engineering both for its cycling routes and Greenways but the challenge remains in making our roads safe for cycling.”
Martin Hibbins, Head of Engineering Services for Calderdale Council said: “We are particularly concerned that the report will deter people from cycling in Calderdale and we are in discussions with the CTC regarding our concerns and correcting this false information.
“Calderdale Council currently provides cycle training to over 1,900 schoolchildren every year – covering the National Standards of Cycling Training at levels 1, 2 and 3.
“We also provide adult and family cycle training by the Road Safety Team to encourage people back to cycling.
“The council is also continuing to develop a network of cycling routes for commuters, utility and leisure across Calderdale.”
A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “There is an extensive programme of initiatives to reduce high severity casualties on the roads.
“Although the number of serious accidents involving pedal cyclists have not reduced since the government targets were set in 2000, the numbers of cyclists on the road may well have increased.
“The numbers slightly injured have reduced by 24% from when the targets were set, exceeding the 10% reduction needed to meet the Government target for 2010.”
The full CTC report is available at ww.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/0905_SiN_full_rpt.pdf