Cities need to improve bike lanes before reducing car traffic: report

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Dutch cities have to do more to make cycle lanes safe before they start trying to reduce car usage, according to research by the transport ministry and Groningen University and quoted by Metro on Monday.

Without further improvements, an extra 200 cyclists between the ages of 18 and 64 and up to 150 over-65s will be seriously injured in accidents because of poor infrastructure, Metro quotes the researchers as saying.

The research shows a 10% reduction in urban car journeys will result in an increase in cyclists being injured in accidents involving no other vehicles, such as riding into a post or falling off.

The Dutch cycling union has been calling for better infrastructure for some time. ‘Cycle lanes are now often too narrow for all the bikes but we know the number of cyclists will go up considerably,' a spokesman told Metro.

Although the Netherlands is considered one of the safest places in the world to ride a bike, every year some 200 people are killed in bike-related accidents and 9,000 cyclists are given hospital treatment.


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