How safe is cycling in Welwyn Hatfield?

By | 1st March 2018

One of the main reasons cited for not cycling on roads is the perceived danger.  It is of course important to cycle in a safe and responsible manner, both for you and other road users.  However – what are the actual risks of being hurt in an accident?

There is no perfect source of accident statistics but the most complete is the STAT19 road safety data from the Department for Transport.  This records information about every reported accident, including vehicle types and casualties.

Here’s all the reported accidents for Welwyn-Hatfield between 2005 and 2014 – click on the categories underneath to toggle visibility for cyclist casualties, pedestrian casualties and others (mainly motor vehicle occupants).  Click on the casualty marker to show a link for further details:

Accidents 2005 – 2014

Marked by casualty severity (green = slight; blue = serious; red = fatal)

Click title to show track

There are a significant number of cyclist casualties, unfortunately including two fatalities.  However there are similar numbers of pedestrian casualties (with 5 fatalities), and far more motor vehicle occupant casualties.  It’s also important to note that this is over 10 years.  Many of the cyclist casualties are at or near junctions, and in particular roundabouts – any serious effort to reduce cyclist casualties needs to concentrate on these junctions.

More recent casualty data (for 2015 and 2016) is available below.  These are overall similar to the earlier statistics, but it is good to see there have been no further cyclist fatalities (although there were 3 pedestrian fatalities):

Accidents 2015/2016

Marked by casualty severity (green = slight; blue = serious; red = fatal)

Click title to show track
Cyclists 2016
Pedestrians 2016
Others 2016
Cyclists 2015
Pedestrians 2015
Others 2015

So – is cycling in the borough completely safe? No.  However, the number of casualties is small compared to the total number of regular cyclists, and the health, financial and environmental benefits from cycling (or walking) compared to travelling by motor vehicle far outweigh this small risk.  Cycling sensibly reduces this risk still further.

Do you want to make cycling in the Borough even safer and easier?  Contact us to find out more.

More mapping of this and other cycle data at CycleStreets