Cycle Seekers


London cycling safety

Road Bike Safety – The Facts on Biking in London

Today we’ll discuss road cycling safety in London. London is interesting as a European city when it comes to cycling. The UK has a lot of folks who are hardcore into the sport. As a result, lots of cycling champions like Laura Kenny and Bradley Wiggins hail from the UK. Despite perceptions of danger compared to other cities, the data suggests that safety is improving. Having said that, let’s be realistic; riding safe in such a busy city does require you to be mindful of several important factors. Knowing the facts can help you conquer any fears you have.

The Facts – Are you Safe Cycling in London?

To estimate safety we’ll look at two different stats; fatalities and injuries. Fatalities are the scariest and most tragic outcomes possible of course. The figures tell us that from 2021, fatalities in four major European capitals have decreased. Paris saw fatalities decrease to 1 in 2022, while Amsterdam recorded 5. London and Berlin recorded the highest fatalities among this cohort, at 7 for 2022 (a reduction compared to 2021). The population of these cities and how many folks are cycling matters of course. London and Paris are the largest cities on this list but Paris has more cycling friendly infrastructure. Amsterdam may be a smaller city but its also famous for its bike usage. Nonetheless, these figures prove that fatal cycling events are exceedingly rare. For London, a less robust cycling infrastructure and lower uptake puts things in context.

Estimating survival while cycling in London is one of the lowest bars we can set. While you are unlikely to be involved in a fatal accident, what about injuries? This is where the data gets a bit more murky. Data published by London’s transport authority (TfL) gives u some  clues. They stimate that in 2022, there were over 23,000 collisions among all vehicle types in London. The vast majority (~85%) of resulting injuries were classed as minor. 60-70% of all injuries were borne by pedestrians, motorcyclists, mopeds, and cyclists. While an inexact number, we can conclude that there are thousands of cycling injuries per year (most minor). When considering the size and scope of London cycling, the figures paint a pretty definitive answer. You are statistically safe in London but the possibility of injuries is real. One must take care and make wise decisions in order to remain safe and healthy.

cycling fatalities in major european capitals

Overview of Bicycle Fatalities in Major European Capitals

How to Stay Safe

One key factor stands out on cycling fatalities in London; the presence of trucks (lorries). Reports on these tragic events frequently involve a cyclist not being seen by a lorry driver before a turn. Our biggest piece of advice is to be aware AT ALL TIMES of vehicles around you and especially trucks/lorries.  I will almost always slow down or speed up so that I am no where close to a lorry on the road. The best tip overall is to BE SEEN. Wear bright clothing and in the dark winter months in particular, use many lights. Make sure to keep your bike well maintained to avoid mechanical issues while on the road. And another tip that’s worked well for me – plan your route with safety in mind. London is increasingly adding cycle routes that are separated from motor traffic. Planning a route that keeps you away from traffic will generally keep you safer. Do note its possible for other cyclists to ride irresponsibly as well and present danger. Pedestrians are also omnipresent and can be unpredictable if distracted or on their phone.


Data suggests that cycling in London is safe but not totally risk free. There are a number of things you can focus on to increase your safety. If you do these things, you can enjoy the beautiful city of London safely. Later we’ll review some ride options in London and examine cycling safety in other global cities. Preparation is a big part of safety, be it mechanical or at riskier times of day.

If you live in or are visiting London, I highly recommend viewing Transport for London’s cycling safety tips page.