A poll of 1,070 adults, a quarter of whom said they were cyclists, suggests that one in five cyclists in London have stopped cycling to work following the recent spate of deaths on the capital’s roads.
In the poll, carried out by Com Res for BBC London, 20% of cyclists said they had been involved in a collision.
However Andrew Gilligan, the mayor of London’s cycling commissioner, urged caution in interpreting trends from the poll, describing the sample size as "manifestly tiny" and adding that the media’s "all-consuming focus" on recent cycle deaths "has contributed to the fear that cyclists and potential cyclists feel".
And Transport for London says that cycling is not getting more dangerous in the capital. Its statistics show that from 2008 to 2012, there were 68 cyclist deaths while in the preceding five-year period from 2003 to 2007 the figure was 82.
The poli, which was carried out following six cyclist deaths in London in a two-week period, found that: 20% of respondents said they had stopped cycling to work and 63% said they cycled on pavements to avoid dangerous roads and junctions; 30% said they have changed their route to work and 68% disagreed that London’s roads are safe to cycle on.
The poll found that 91% of respondents believed the compulsory wearing of helmets would improve safety. However, among those who cycled at least once a week, the most popular safety proposal was the creation of cycle only routes, which was supported by 88%.
Andrew Gilligan said: "We know that fear about safety is a real and major deterrent to cycling and the mayor is doing more than any other politician in the country to address it."
He added that money is being spent and new staff hired to "improve London’s roads for cyclists, something that was happening before this recent tragic spate of deaths".