It is exciting seeing all the cycle hire stations getting the finishing touches around the city. I was so excited I asked our 'green team' at work whether the company were going to take out corporate membership of CityCycle. The response was disappointing, but not surprising - the health and safety policy would not allow it because the risks are just too high. Experienced cyclists are encouraged to use the scheme but the lack of safe cycling facilities in the CBD means the risk for inexperienced cyclists is too great.
I suspect many company health and safety committees will come to the same conclusion. It will take a lot to change the perception that cycling is dangerous. Interesting statistics from the Netherlands is that walking is actually more dangerous than cycling. The fatality rate for pedestrians is far higher (per billion kilometers travelled) than cycling is. And both are more dangerous than driving, being above the average for all modes. Here are the numbers for the years 1999-2003.
Pedestrians 32 deaths/billion km
Cyclists 14 deaths/billion km
Car drivers 4 deaths/billion km
All modes 6 deaths/billion km
From these statistics it would appear advisable for health and safety committeesto advise people against walking and cycling and encourage people to drive more. But public transport is even safer as these statistics from the UK show. Interesting to see how much safer it is for cyclists and pedestrians in the Netherlands.
|Passenger death rates per billion passenger kilometres|
|Bus or coach||0.7||0.3||0.2||0.4|