Berkshire

Berkshire child cyclists killed or injured each week

A child dies or is injured on average every week while cycling on Berkshire's roads, according to new figures.

Between 2004 and 2010 there were 413 incidents across the county, the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership said.

Andrew Howard, from the AA, said it highlighted the need for all children to have access to cycling training.

The partnership's operations manager said it suggested a disparity between motorist and cyclist fatalities.

Richard Owen, in charge of road safety analysis, said: "We've seen reductions in car user fatalities on the road but we haven't seen a reduction in those being killed or seriously injured on their bikes, be they children or adults.

"Children should be able to cycle on the roads. It should be a shared environment."

Better equipped

Most incidents took place in Wokingham, Reading and Slough.

Mr Howard said accidents would be reduced by training young cyclists so they understood cyclists better when they learned how to drive cars.

"When he's a driver he'll have all the experiences he had as a child or a teenager on a bicycle to draw on," he said.

He also blamed bigger cars and motorists who were in "much more of a hurry" than they used to be.

The peak age range for cyclists injured on the roads is between the ages of 11 and 15.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "Awareness of cyclists and cyclists' safety is already part of the highway code theory test, which contains questions related to cyclists."

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