A CRASH involving a cyclist is happening almost every week on Swindon's roads according to an interactive map.

Between 2015 and 2019 CrashMap shows 263 collisions or crashes involving a pushbike - the equivalent of one every 7.7 days.

Although the huge majority, 220, were minor incidents where damage or injury was slight, 41 were classified as serious and there was one fatality. In November 2017 an 80-year-old man died of head injuries after being hit by a pedal cycle on Cricklade Road.

The Magic Roundabout near the County Ground was the scene 17 accidents, with the Queen’s Drive junction the site of five minor and one serious accident. Other blackspots included Drakes Way near the Greenbridge roundabout with three serious incidents between February 2017 and March 2018.

According to Government statistics more than 18 per cent of people in Swindon use bicycles at least some of the time, and according to figures taken during late March, April and May - the tightest period of lockdown - that number quadrupled.

Borough council cabinet member for highways, Maureen Penny said the council was investing in making the roads safer for cyclists. “Any accident on our roads is one too many, whether it involves motorists, cyclists or pedestrians.

“Since 2014 we have invested £4.5m in new or improved off-carriageway cycle routes across the borough and we are currently making the most of government funding to upgrade some paths used by cyclists to encourage more people onto their bikes. Work is also underway to create a new Toucan crossing on the Magic Roundabout to improve safety for bike users.

“On average each day more than a thousand trips are recorded on our three flyer routes and that increased three-fold in places over lockdown. We are blessed in Swindon to have a good off-road cycle network of more than 100 kilometres, and dedicated cycle routes have been factored in to future major housing developments, such as Wichelstowe and the New Eastern Villages. We look forward to making even further improvements for cyclists in the years to come.”

Claire Crilly the Labour group transport spokesman said people shouldn’t be put off cycling: “Although the picture painted by Crash Map appears grim, cycling remains a relatively safe form of transport and the exercise that it brings safeguards against the health risks relating to inactivity.

“Reducing the number of incidents and casualties on our highways in Swindon should always be a top priority for the council.”

A widespread cut in the speed limit would make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. “The Labour group stance is to reduce the speed in built-up areas in Swindon to 20 mph as the evidence points to this making these roads safer for more vulnerable road users.

“Regrettably, our motions to full council have been rejected previously by the Conservation administration.”

Swindon Cycling Campaign pointed out the map only shows the location of collisions and that near misses and close passes by cars and vans was a factor in putting off many nervous, beginner or returning cyclists.

Group member Gerry Hannon said: “This is useful information in the map. We will be approaching the council - Coun Penny, Keith Williams and Brian Ford - to see what can be improved in the council’s walking and cycling infrastructure plan.

“The benefits of cycling cut across three area- it’s transport, but it will also help Coun Williams. agenda on climate change and Coun Ford’s portfolio of wanting to improve Swindon’s health.”

Visit crashmap.co.uk/Search - you can search by type of vehicle, severity of collision and zoom in to local areas.