One in every five cycling collisions in Hackney are hit-and-runs, according to new research.
Data taken from the website Stats19 reveal that of the 800 to 900 cycling collisions per year in Hackney, 20 per cent involved the driver speeding off afterwards. The figure is nearly double the national average of 11 per cent.
The research, led by Dr Rachel Aldred of Westminster University, shows that cycling in Hackney is more popular than ever — yet the risk has increased, dispelling the “safety in numbers” effect generally seen. The study, commissioned by the group Hackney Cycling Campaign to highlight the dangers of cycling in the borough, was revealed at a high-tension meeting on 1 March attended by local leaders and police chiefs.
“Hit-and-run incidents have been going up,” Dr Aldred said. “It is quite concerning looking at the data.”
“The Stats 19 data shows some worrying things for our borough in terms of safety in numbers, increasing number of injuries and the stuff around hit-and-runs,” she added.
— Jono Kenyon (@Jono_Kenyon) February 26, 2017
Angry at the lack of protection offered to cyclists from cars in London’s most popular borough for cycling, members demanded the police do more to tackle reckless drivers.
One attendee said: “Bad driving is the anti-social behaviour I suffer from every day. If you had an anti-social neighbour coming round and hitting you with a hammer you [the police] would be doing something about it. What is the difference when someone hammers you from the side of the road in their car?”
Inspector Homre Varley, from the Hackney Safer Transport Team, admitted cycling safety has slipped down the priority list for local police.
“It is more about tackling violence against people on buses now, that is what they want us doing.”
Not willing to listen to excuses, another attendee angrily claimed: “road deaths are an accepted part of people going around and getting to work, and it shouldn’t be like that.”
Hackney campaigners are calling for a close pass initiative to be installed in Hackney – a West Midlands police operation in which drivers dangerously overtaking cyclists were reprimanded, leading to a 50 per cent drop in poor overtaking practice.
The Hackney Post has contacted the Council for comment.
More from the Hackney Post: Bike safety: How much risk do cyclists pose on Britain’s roads?