Biking deaths hit record low

THREE Gwent authorities were among the safest in Wales for motorcyclists last year, according to figures published by Welsh Government.

Although Monmouthshire saw the sixth highest number of motorcycle casualties, it was revealed as the safest Welsh authorities for child pedal cyclists.

A report on the risks of motorcycling, published this week, found there were 17 motorcyclist fatalities on Welsh roads last year, the lowest figure since Welsh records began in 1979, but 229 people were seriously injured and 439 slightly hurt – a five-year high.

Monmouthshire had the sixth highest number of motorcycle casualties in Wales last year with 34; Newport ranked 13th (28); Caerphilly 19th (22); Torfaen 20th (21); and Blaenau Gwent 21st (10). Carmarthenshire had the highest figure of 63.

Of 655 total crashes in Wales last year, 16 were fatal for motorcyclists, 218 were serious, and 421 were slight.

The number of killed or seriously injured cyclists have fluctuated between 61 and 84 per year since 2000, but rose in 2013 to 100. The majority of cyclists hurt or killed on Welsh roads between 2004 and 2013 happened in 30mph zones.

In Caerphilly, the number of cyclists killed since 2004 has dropped from 26, to 17 last year.

In Blaenau Gwent the number dropped from eight to seven.

In Torfaen there were nine casualties in 2004, down to six in 2013, making it the safest in Wales last year.

In Monmouthshire there were 10 in 2004, rising to a peak of 13 in 2006 and 2007, and was at 12 last year.

While in Newport, there were 20 in 2004, peaking at 28 in 2007, and was at 23 casualties last year.

This compares to 106 in Cardiff last year, up from 89 in 2004. Gwent accounted for 13 per cent of cyclist casualties in Wales last year.

For more stories in your area, visit southwalesargus.co.uk

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