BOURNEMOUTH is the second most dangerous place for cyclists in England outside London.

Safety campaigners are vowing that more is being done to make riding safe after it emerged that Poole also came high in the government statistics, showing as having the sixth highest rate of injuries outside the capital.

The latest available accident figures, for 2011, list Bournemouth as having 137 cyclists injured in total, with 10 of those being children. Of that total 21 adults and two children were seriously injured and one adult died.

In Poole 90 people including 10 children were injured, with 12 adults seriously hurt and no fatalities.

When the figures are adjusted per 1 million of the population - to make an across the board comparison possible - Bournemouth has the second highest casualty rate outside of London, just behind Portsmouth.

The figures, highlighted in Bournemouth's Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid and blogged about by local cyclist Luke Williams this week, show that Bournemouth has been ranked the least safe place for cyclists outside of London three times in the last six years.

See all the figures here (spreadsheet for download)

The Dorset County Council area showed as having 102 people killed or injured in total, with one fatality. 

Jason Falconer, the Bournemouth Bike It officer for the cycling charity Sustrans suffered serious head injuries and was in a critical condition after a collision in Constitution Hill in Poole last summer.

But he said he “remains optimistic” about improving road safety. Jason, 42, added: “When I was nearly killed and was at Southampton hospital’s neurological department they told me I got better in two months because I’m fit, because I cycle.

“And what happened has not stopped me. For all of us who share the road, education is the key.” 

Jason is encouraged by work being done nationally with lorry drivers and taxi drivers, raising awareness of cyclists.

Jim Haysom, 36, was hurt at Richmond Hill roundabout and spent 18 months getting over his injuries. Jim, who now lives in London, said: “It really does make you more conscious of how things can change and how I could’ve been killed.”

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