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By Spencers Solicitors

  Steven Barke    
  June 10, 2022

The Most Dangerous Cities For Cycling In

There are more cyclists on the road than ever, but unfortunately, despite widespread investment in some aspects of cycling safety, there are more hazards on the road than ever also. This has been highlighted by new research which has created a league table of the UK’s most and least safe cities in which to cycle, with some surprising results.

Perhaps the headline finding from the research carried out by is that London is not the most dangerous city in which to cycle, although it does score highly in some categories. The data used for the research looked at 12,000 cycling routes across the UK and analysed common factors which affected cyclists every day, contributed to personal injury claims and influenced their feelings of safety and security on the roads. These factors included:

  • The number of bike accidents
  • Average steepness of roads
  • Road surface quality
  • Quality of lighting

London is actually not the most dangerous city to cycle in!

Each category was scored individually and an overall tally calculated to provide a total score out of ten for each city. It won’t surprise many to find that London came out top for the number of bicycle accidents, with 978 over the course of the survey contributing to a score of 9.59 out of ten. But London scored well in other categories, because it has relatively flat routes and is well lit in many areas, so these left the capital with an overall score of 6.88, which placed it as the fifth most dangerous city to cycle in.

Birmingham actually came in top as the UK’s most dangerous city in which to cycle. The ‘second city’ was actually first for once, and scored highly for poor surface quality (nine out of ten) and poor lighting (8.75 out of ten), and even though it scored moderately for steepness (6.25) and accidents (6.75) the overall score for Birmingham of 7.38 ranked it highest.

Second in the table was Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, while Plymouth was third and Sheffield fourth. Meanwhile, the safest cities in which to cycle, according to the research, can be found in Chelmsford, Worcester, Nottingham, Lincoln and Gloucester. These all scored much lower across all categories.

Investment in preventing bicycle accident claims

There has been major investment in creating cycle lanes in many big cities across the UK in recent years, and along with recent changes to the Highway Code to raise more awareness and offer more protection to cyclists on the road, the hope is that personal injury claims and bicycle accident claims will reduce. However, this level of investment is perhaps not being matched by repairing potholes and improving poor lighting on cycling routes, meaning some UK cities are still hazardous places to cycle and experienced personal injury solicitors, such as Spencers Solicitors, are still finding high levels of cycling accident claims.

Since the COVID pandemic it is estimated that bicycle usage on UK roads has increased by 200%, as people discovered new ways to get out of the house during lockdown, and also found that cycling is a safer and healthier way to travel and commute. But this new research highlights that a lot of work and investment is still required to improve safety on UK roads for cyclists.

Steve Barke

About the author

Steve is our resident cycling expert and solicitor who qualified in 1998 and has over 30 years experience in representing clients throughout the UK who have suffered catastrophic, complex serious injuries including amputations; whole body burns, and long term disabling psychological conditions as a result of serious workplace and road traffic accidents, in particular, catastrophic injuries in the steelworks and factories of South Wales; Kent and the Midlands.

In addition he has been an advocate at inquests representing families of loved ones who have died as a result of accidents. Steve goes that extra mile for clients exhibiting excellent client care.

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