Evidence suggests that the more people who cycle, the safer cycling becomes, according to a report on data for England's major cities, including Bristol. The findings were presented at Road Safety GB’s annual conference, held in Bristol on 15 and 16 November.
Transport and health experts have long hypothesised that the more people cycle, the safer cycling becomes. This could be because the more cyclists there are, the more motorists adapt their driving behaviour to be less
aggressive and dangerous to cycle users. This could also be partly because more motorists will also be cyclists.
Now data suggests that this is the case in Bristol. The data was published in a report, Safety in Numbers for Cyclists in England: Measuring the Effect, which was presented by Road Safety Analysis at the conference. Bristol isn't specifically mentioned in the report, but the Road Safety Analysis team referred to the Bristol evidence during their presentation.
Dr Adrian Davis, transport and health expert from the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team (SHINE
“The evidence of a safety in numbers effect for cycling – similar to herd immunity – has been debated in the scientific literature for over 30 years. This new evidence gives further support that the more people cycling the lower the risk per unit of exposure to each rider. In terms of increasing population physical activity levels this research gives further encouragement to urban planners in creating healthy cities we people can choose to cycle without fear – a major barrier to cycle use. However, we still have a long way to go to catch up with other European cities.”