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[Data] Newcastle named UK’s second most dangerous cycling city – from lighting to steepness

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Aug 11, 2022 #cycling, #news, #Safety

Cycling in the UK has surged by almost 200% since Covid lockdowns. The recent launch of the second cycling and walking investment strategy (CWIS2) has outlined the UK’s ambition to make active travel a natural choice for its people. Inspired, Claims.co.uk sought to reveal which UK city is the safest to cycle in, and which is the most dangerous?

After extracting over 12,000 cycling routes from a reputable cycling network site, and analysing the number of bike accidents, average steepness, surface quality, and lighting across cycling routes, the experts were able to ultimately assign a danger score for each UK city examined.

We really hope you find this release useful. If you do end up using it, we ask that you credit appropriately with a link to: https://www.claims.co.uk.

10 most dangerous UK cities for cycling

Rank City Steepness score (/10) Average bike  accident score (/10) Surface quality score (/10) Dim lighting score (/10) Overall danger score (/10)
1 Birmingham 6.25 6.75 9.00 8.75 7.38
2 Newcastleupon Tyne 9.75 8.67 3.00 4.50 7.21
3 Plymouth 8.00 6.92 9.50 4.75 7.17
4 Sheffield 7.75 8.25 2.25 7.75 7.08
5 London 3.00 9.58 7.75 1.75 6.88
6 Preston 5.25 7.08 8.50 5.75 6.79
7 Manchester 4.75 8.58 6.25 3.00 6.63
8 Stoke-on-Trent 8.25 4.50 5.50 9.50 6.13
9 Bristol 7.25 6.67 4.00 5.25 6.08
10 Brighton and Hove 8.75 6.00 4.50 2.75 5.67

*The higher the scores, the more dangerous it is for cyclists.

For the complete data of all 41 UK cities analysed, please click here.

Claims.co.uk can reveal that Birmingham is the most dangerous for cycling, as the city racks up an overall danger score of 7.38/10. Bikers are most likely to suffer from poorly-maintained road surfaces (9/10), and steep pathways where less than 50% are equipped with optimal lighting. These could thus contribute to the city’s bike accident score of 6.75/10.

In second place is Newcastle upon Tyne, receiving a danger score of 7.21/10. Not only are roads majorly steep (9.75/10), cyclists stand a relatively high risk of being involved in road crashes as bike accident score averages 8.67/10 – only 0.91 lower than London (the worst-performing city in this regard). Redemption for Newcastle comes from satisfactory road conditions, with smooth pathways (3/10) and optimal lighting along over 70% of cycling routes.

Following in third place is Plymouth, with a danger score of 7.17/10. Cycling routes in the city have a rather rough road surface (9.50/10) and a steep gradient (8/10). While around 70% of cycling paths are well-lit, Plymouth’s average bike accident score (6.92/10) is 0.25 higher than Bristol (6.67/10) in ninth place.

10 safest UK cities for cycling

Rank City Steepness score (/10) Average bike accident score (/10) Surface quality score (/10) Dim lighting score(/10) Overall danger score (/10)
1 Chelmsford 1.25 0.08 5.75 3.50 1.79
2 Worcester 2.25 1.50 1.50 8.00 2.71
3 Nottingham 6.00 0.92 5.25 4.00 3.00
4 Lincoln 3.25 3.75 3.25 1.00 3.13
5 Gloucester 1.75 1.58 8.25 4.25 3.17
6 Cambridge 0.25 4.50 2.50 3.25 3.25
7 Leicester 1.50 4.75 1.75 2.25 3.29
8 York 2.00 3.42 1.50 6.25 3.33
9 Wakefield 6.50 0.58 3.75 9.25 3.54
=9 St Albans 7.50 1.17 8.75 1.50 3.54
10 Norwich 5.50 2.50 7.50 1.25 3.63

Claims.co.uk can also reveal that Chelmsford is the safest UK city for cycling, earning an overall danger score of only 1.79/10. The number of bike crashes (16) is the second-lowest of all places analysed, being slightly behind Gloucester in fifth (12). Boasting an almost perfect road condition for cyclists, over 73% of paths are well-lit in the city.

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