More cycle lanes could be on way in North Lincs as group "pedals" safety message
More footpath cycle lanes could be introduced in North Lincolnshire as road safety chiefs look at ways to reduce the number of road collisions involving bicycles.
The idea was discussed at the latest Road Safety Partnership meeting, held once every quarter, where safety bosses review the latest road collision figures.
Data up to August this year shows there has been one fatality, eight serious and 24 slight injuries following collisions involving cyclists. Roy Hindmarsh, the road safety audit and partnership officer at North Lincolnshire Council, said the number of incidents involving cyclists was "creeping up".
Post-Olympic cycling fever is thought to be the reason behind more people taking to the saddle in Scunthorpe.
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"In the last month, collisions have really gone up so it is something to keep an eye on," said Mr Hindmarsh.
"What we are finding is the number of pedal cycle collisions following the Olympics is rising. Cycling has really taken off in the past few months."
But this increase has left road safety bosses with concerns over the impact this will have on safety – should riders lack experience of cycling on busy roads.
In 2011, there were 10 cyclists killed or seriously injured on the region's roads.
In the eight months up to August there have been nine.
So far this year there have been 24 slight injuries following collisions, compared with 48 last year.
Barry Gardner, casualty reduction officer at Humberside Police, suggested allowing cyclists to ride on the pavements would help reduce the potential for a rise.
"We should probably be looking at preventative measures rather than proactive ones," he said.
"I would like to see more shared footpaths and pavements.
"I have never seen any pedestrians killed following a collision with a cyclist."
Mr Hindmarsh said he had seen many cyclists now using the footpaths because they "feel more comfortable".
Members of the North Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership said cyclists needed to wear more visible clothing to avoid the number of collisions rising further.
"High visibility clothing and helmets are the main areas but cyclists need to ensure they are riding safely," he said.
"When there are two or three people riding side-by-side they need to be aware that they need to be seen by motorists.
"When they are riding they need to make people aware that they are there. One way of doing this could be making eye contact with other people."
Despite this one area of concern, current figures showed that all casualties were down compared to last year.
On the region's roads last year there were 769 casualties and so far this year there have been 369. The 2012 target is 811.
In the 20 categories, figures are down in 16 of these areas.
Mr Hindmarsh added: "Overall the figures are very pleasing. We are below where we expected to be and are in line to hit the 2012 targets."