It's stories like this that can almost get me to back "butts on bikes" bicycle advocacy. I have strong issues with creating separate facilities for the same purpose (delivery of people and goods) which goes against the "paint and path" efforts. I do not view the bicycle as a recreational toy but as a transportational tool.
The trend is clear, with areas popular for cyclists tending to be safer on average, with the differences sometimes significant. Top of the list is traditionally bike-friendly York, where around one in eight commuters cycle to work and 0.1% are badly hurt in accidents each year. Not far down the road, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, a district centred around Halifax, is at the other end of the scale. Here, fewer than 1 in 120 commuters use bikes, and those that do face a danger level 15 times higher than in York.
The phenomenon of safety in numbers – the name given to a new CTC campaign – can be seen throughout Europe. Other figures compiled by the organisation show that in Denmark, top of the continental league for cycling, the average person rides over 10 times further than his British peer every year but runs only 20% of the risk of being killed.
"It's a virtuous circle: people feel safe, they know a lot of people who also cycle and say, 'it's OK, get out there. It's even a pleasant way to get around,'" said Peck. "They're much more likely to get on a bike if they know, say, a friend or neighbour who cycles."
"It shouldn't be a fringe sub-culture, just for the cyclists you could call the urban guerrillas. You'll never have ordinary people cycling if that's the image they see."
On Yer Bike!