By Mathew Beech
Hundreds of cyclists have been injured and five killed on Brighton’s roads over the last five years as new figures reveal accident black spots in the city.
Figures published by the Office of National Statistics show there have been 850 accidents between 2005 and 2010, with the palace Pier roundabout proving to be the most dangerous section of road.
This junction sees Marine Parade, Madeira Drive, Grand Junction Road and the A23 converge, and caused 129 accidents, 23 resulting in injuries to the cyclists.
Ian Essex, chairman of the Brighton Excelsior Cycling Club, told the Argus: “From my experience on some of the roads in Brighton the figures don’t surprise me but it is still shocking.”
The second most dangerous spot for bike-riders is the Lewes Road/Coombe Road junction, where 18 people were injured in 83 accidents.
Other significant hotspots include the Clock Tower Junction, the Lewes Road/Franklin Road junction, and the Seven Dials Roundabout.
Within the cycling community, there is a feeling that more could be done to protect them on the roads, but cyclists themselves should take steps to ensure their safety.
Lucy Jones, 37, from Queens Park, said: “It would be good if the cycle lanes didn’t just end when things got difficult.
“I drive as well and many cyclists don’t help themselves by wearing black and not having any lights on.
“They can do a lot more to look after themselves.”
Tony Sewel, 63, believes that motorists are to blame. He said: “I think the motorists are pig ignorant.
“We saw an accident the other day by Lidl.
“The man signalled but the woman in the car ignored him and knocked him straight off.”
Robert, a coach driver from Germany, who drove to Brighton today as part of an excursion, believes that cyclists put themselves at rick by the way they conduct themselves on the road.
He said: “If they all wore the hi-vis jackets they would make it easier for themselves.
“They also don’t help themselves by weaving in and out of traffic.
“Some are so aggressive on the road and weave in and out of blind-spots, putting themselves and others at risk.”
Brighton and Hove city council are hoping to reduce the number of incidents involving cyclists on the road by improving the cycle-path network.
Plans for the Vogue Gyratory on Lewes Road include: A continuous on-road two metre-wide cycle lane; widening the shared pedestrian and cycle lane; and an enhanced cycle network to the north giving access to the Amex stadium and both universities.
Ian Davey, the council’s cabinet member for transport and the public realm, said: “As more people cycle in the city each year we must do everything possible to make sure that they can do so safely.”