More than 4,400 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on British roads last year

This was higher than the number in 2019, new statistics show.

By katharine swindells

Provisional data released yesterday by the Department for Transport shows that there were 111 pedal cyclists killed on the road in the Great Britain in 2021. This is 21% below the 2020 level but higher than in 2019. In total, there were 4,464 people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in 2021, just 0.3% below 2020 levels.

road accidents
KSIs in Great Britain have increased over 2019 levels. (Photo by Ground Picture/Shutterstock)

Cyclists have seen the opposite trend to other road accident figures during the pandemic. Overall, the number of road users killed or seriously injured has been significantly lower over the previous two years. However, the pandemic saw increased numbers of people cycling, corresponding with more casualties.

In fact, when adjusted to a milage rate, the figures show 1,063 pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured per billion miles cycled, 26% higher than in 2020, but 11% lower than in 2019.

[Read more: How can cities become more bike friendly? The Netherlands offers useful lessons]

Where were the most road accidents involving cyclists in Great Britain?

There are significant variations across Great Britain in cyclist KSIs: in London, ten cyclists were killed in 2021, a 67% increase on 2020 and double the number in 2019.

In the south-west of England, the number of cyclist deaths in 2021 was 75% higher than 2020, and 133% higher than 2019.

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When including serious injuries, London saw the highest number, with a quarter of all cyclist KSIs in Great Britain in 2021. The almost 1,000 pedal cyclist KSIs in London is 15% higher than in 2020, and 28% higher than 2019.

[Read more: What are the top cities for commuting by bike?]

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