Gloucestershire - a dangerous place for cyclists
WORDS of warning have been issued to road users after new figures revealed more than 175 cyclists were injured on Gloucestershire's roads last year.
Safety experts are urging those on both two and four wheels to take extra precautions to stay out of bother.
And yesterday one Cheltenham youngster knocked off his bike last year said cyclists had to be more assertive on the town's roads.
Student Charlie Symes, 18, said: "It doesn't surprise me that so many people were injured, because I've lost count of the number of times cars have got too close to me and nearly knocked me off.
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"Since the accident happened I have received lots of advice from other cyclists and they have told me to ensure I take more space on the road so I am more visible, but that just results in drivers beeping their horns and being aggressive.
"What motorists need to realise is that cyclists have just as much right to be there as they do."
The number is up by 30 on 2010 figures and represents the second consecutive year of increases.
A total of 59 people on pushbikes were hurt on Cheltenham's roads in 2011, including seven children.
The figure for Tewkesbury was 19, including three youngsters, while 19 adults were injured in the Cotswolds.
In light of the figures, cycling charity Sustrans called for urgent action to make roads safer for everyone.
Its regional director Adrian Roper said: "Dropping the speed limit from 30 to 20 miles per hour in built-up areas would cut accidents and make our streets better places to live, work and play.
"We also need more investment in safe routes for walking and cycling that link up homes, schools and workplaces.
"Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can share the roads safely – we just need consideration and care from everyone."
Cheltenham Borough Council Lib Dem members have been investigating reductions in speed limits, but the county council has admitted there is no money available to pay for such moves.
Wearing bright clothing and being more aware of other road users are among the top pieces of advice being given to cyclists.
Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership spokesman Andre Bovington said: "If you are a returning cyclist or you aren't feeling too confident about cycling, you can sign up for a two-hour cycling session tailored to your needs.
"Drivers need to always try to anticipate the actions of others, especially when passing cyclists."
Anybody seeking advice on cycle safety should search for 'road safety Gloucestershire' online or call 01452 425600.