INCIDENTS which killed or injured cyclists in North Yorkshire totalled 66 last year, according to new figures.

Statistics provided by North Yorkshire County Council revealed the amount of serious accidents in the county more than doubled in five years, from 32 in 2009 to 66 in 2014.

And throughout Yorkshire, those injured on two wheels increased by 56 per cent.

Nicola Doody, manager of York bicycle shop, Giant store, in Lord Mayor's Walk, said: "We never like to hear of cyclists being involved in road incidents, and from time to time we do hear of such from our customers in store.

"An important point is that cycling has grown massively in terms of popularity, so the number of incidents does need to be considered as a proportion of the number of cyclists on the road."

Over the same period of time, local authorities have stepped up their efforts to keep cyclists safe on the roads, and in 2009 the national cycle charity, CTC, found York was the safest place to ride a bike in the UK.

City of York Council has introduced a number of cycling routes in the city and has a iTravel York website providing information about riding safely on the city's roads.

It has also had to cope with a surge in interest after York hosted the Tour De France's second stage of the Grand Depart.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council, said: "There has been a steady rise in the number of cyclist casualties being reported in North Yorkshire over the past four years.

"It is possible the increase in the number of cyclist collisions on our roads is due to an increase in the number of people cycling on our roads, but as this is not measured but anecdotal we cannot currently make a statistical link.

"We are working together with cycling organisations, clubs, cycle shops and venues to help cyclists to use and enjoy the wonderful scenic routes throughout the county safely – both for them and for the communities along these popular routes and the other road users who share the same roads. More info and a link to our app to help you ride Yorkshire’s roads is on our website:"