More cyclists hurt as ‘driving getting worse’

The 2013 Bucket and Spade 75 mile charity bike ride from Southport to Blackpool return'Pic Ryan Chaunce

The 2013 Bucket and Spade 75 mile charity bike ride from Southport to Blackpool return'Pic Ryan Chaunce

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A keen Fylde coast cyclist today said the standards of driving near those on two wheels are getting worse.

New police figures reveal 11 cyclists on the Fylde coast have been seriously injured in collisions between April and July, compared to just three over the same period of time last year.

And Steve Whiteside, secretary of the Cleveleys Road Club, says a number of the club’s members have suffered at the hands of bad motorists.

He said: “Quite a few of our members have been hit this year, just by really bad driving behaviour.

“It just gets worse and worse, for what reason I’ve no idea but I’d hazard a guess there’s too much going on in cars with mobile phones and sat navs bolted on windscreens.

“People aren’t paying attention to the road and drivers are not doing what they should be doing, which is looking ahead and driving.”

Mr Whiteside says the popularity of the sport has increased since last summer’s Olympics, and has urged new cyclists to stay safe.

He said: “We encourage people to join cycling clubs so they can learn riding safer in groups and find out which roads are safer than others.

“There certainly are more cyclists on the roads.”

Pedal cyclists accounted for seven per cent of all casualties and ten per cent of those killed or seriously injured in Lancashire in 2012.

Chief Insp Debbie Howard from Lancashire Police’ Road Policing Unit said: “We have seen an increase in the popularity of cycling in recent years so there are now more cyclists on our roads.

“Despite falling trends in the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, the proportion of casualties which cyclists account for is an increasing one.

“Cyclists can leave themselves vulnerable when riding on our roads and we want to remind them of the importance of wearing a cycling helmet and appropriate safety clothing when riding their bike.

“We are dedicated to keeping cyclists safe on our roads and we are carrying out operations across the county to help to raise awareness of safe cycling and the need for motorists to look out for riders.”