The risks to cyclists have been laid bare in new figures on the rate of accidents they suffer on county roads.
Latest police statistics reveal 105 cyclists were killed or seriously hurt after collisions on the county’s roads last year.
Almost 200,000 people cycle in Lancashire but they face daily threats on the roads. The figures show that 103 cyclists were seriously injured in a collision involving a motorist last year, and two killed. A further 356 suffered slight injury, bringing the total number of cyclists hurt to 461.
On the back of the casualty figures the national cycling charity CTC has called for more measures to protect cyclists in the county.
A spokesman said: “Three million people regularly cycle in the United Kingdom and we know even more would if better cycling infrastructure which allowed them to feel safe was provided.”
Earlier this year highway chiefs at Lancashire County Council announced a £1m plan to slash accidents across the county.
And the county council revealed it was prioritising cyclists and tackling key accident black spots.
A county spokesman said: “We’ve made a number of safety improvements across the county. As part of the £1m safety improvements announced earlier this year, £35,000 is being invested in signs at roundabouts and junctions to remind drivers to look out for cyclists at locations in Preston, Lancaster and South Ribble.
“These are being installed where there is a record of accidents to cyclists, many of whom were struck after motorists failed to spot them.”
And county police have backed LCC, revealing that road safety and cycle safety is high on their agenda.
A spokesman said: “There have been a number of recent campaigns focusing on road safety across Lancashire, one of which was a campaign targeted at motorists and cyclists to raise awareness of each other’s presence on the roads.”
One victim who sustained a broken neck in a collision backed calls for safer roads.
Ian Hodges said: “I guess I’m just unlucky. I’ve been a cycling coach, I’ve stuck to the highway code, I’ve never skipped a red light and I ended up fighting for my life in hospital.”
The 62-year-old from Bamber Bridge was flung from his bike at a junction five years ago as he cycled home from work.
Ian was hospitalised for five weeks after the incident in Leyland Road, Penwortham.
And he recalls the harrowing moment that forced him into early retirement from his role as an engineer at BAE Systems in Warton.
He said: “I was cycling home on the route I took every day – after the accident we clocked up I’d cycled nearly 100,000 miles to and from work.
“I saw a lady coming up to a junction in a Range Rover. I made eye contact, but I was knocked off my bike.”
The cyclist believes junctions need to be improved to avoid further accidents.
He said: “The council is doing a great job but junctions are still a big problem.“I still feel vulnerable at the roundabouts in Bamber Bridge and I’ve been riding with the Ribble Valley Cycling Club for 45 years – there is no safe way round a roundabout for cyclists. The speed that drivers are coming up to junctions is terrible and it is getting worse. But a lot more people are cycling and a lot of those cyclists are drivers, too – like I am – so hopefully things will improve.”
But the AA believes you cannot blame motorists without seeing a full breakdown of the incidents.
A spokesman said: “As a cyclist, you will come off worse if you collide with a car. But unless you look at the details of the accidents you don’t know who is to blame.”
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