CYCLISTS played down fears today after Wilmslow Road in Rusholme was named as the most dangerous road in Manchester, writes Luke McDonagh.
The busy stretch, known as the "Curry Mile", has seen 65 accidents in which cyclists have been injured since 2006.
The road, between Moss Lane East and Claremont Road, is the busiest cycling route in the city, used by hundreds of students pedalling to and from university.
The data was collated by Levenes Solicitors
, specialists in claims for cycle injury, using statistics of accidents reported to the police.
But Pete Abel, from the Love Your Bike Campaign, expressed concerns about the way the data has been presented.
He said: “The law firm hasn’t taken into account how busy certain roads are. You kind of go ‘oh my god cycling’s dangerous’ and actually it’s not.
“In terms of health benefits that people get from it, the small risk that you might have in terms of crashes are far outweighed by the benefits to you as an individual in terms of health gain, but also to the benefits it brings to the community in terms of less pollution, less congestion etc.”
Tim Beasley, a partner with Levenes, advised councils to review accident blackspots with cycle groups.
He said: “I am not saying that statistics alone tell us everything.
“What I am trying to get across is that planners should look at their roads from a cycling view point and start off with the locations which have the most accidents.
“I would suggest that highway planners should actually get on their bikes themselves and cycle these routes to get a better understanding of the problems cyclists face."
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has submitted a bid to improve the city’s transport links to the Department of Transport, which is set to be decided upon this summer.
The bid includes plans to improve cycling links in the city as well as introduce a bus, taxi and cycle-only section on Oxford Road.
The proposals will also see pavements widened and segregated cycle lanes introduced between Hathersage Road and Grosvenor Street.
The TfGM’s Commuter Cycle Project has introduced a number of initiatives to encourage cycling in the area including confidence building group rides and free adult cycling classes.
The classes, lead by accredited instructors, are designed to encourage commuters to cycle to work by teaching them tips on riding at night and in bad weather, how to deal with heavy traffic and general road safety.
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