thirdcrank wrote:OK, but I'd have to say that casualty reduction has done cycling no favours. There's also the point that one element of that strategy has been things like dressing up everything that moves in hi-viz ............................
That casualty reductions haven't boosted cycling numbers is true, but that those of us remaining are less likely to be Doomed isn't exactly a bad thing!
When it's led by public health, in my experience, casualty reduction targets casualty rate reduction rather than reduction of absolute numbers. I think that is to reduce the temptation to to cut numbers walking or cycling and thereby cut the absolute number without reducing the rate, which would harm public health another way.
One major difficulty in this is that the amount of cycling, the denominator when you want to calculate the rate, lags months behind the absolute casualty numbers because we still don't do proper near-real-time counts for walking and cycling: automatic counters are being disabled due to funding cuts, government traffic count points are on major roads not major cycle routes and the interview-type surveys take months to complete. Also, we know casualty numbers more precisely than cycling numbers, although still not exact because not all injuries get reported to police, which is the main source used.
So in the short term, the top-level decision-makers are watching the absolute numbers until the rates become available, which can mislead them: Norwich saw about a 5% year-on-year increase in absolute cycling casualties, but then the cycling numbers estimate there's been an 40% increase in cycling, so it's probably still a fall in casualty rate, depending on which calculation you use.