SERIOUS road accidents causing injury to cyclists saw a sharp rise in Worcestershire last year.

Reports of accidents involving cars and pedestrians also grew significantly on 2015 figures, Department of Transport figures revealed.

The number of reported incidents causing death or serious injury to cyclists increased from 37 in 2016, up 42 per cent on 2015 and 131 per cent on 2012.

Car accidents causing death or serious injury have continued to rise year on year with 89 reported in 2016 - a jump of seven per cent on the previous year and a 39 per cent rise on 2012.

Injuries to pedestrians rose by a fifth in 2016, with 45 reports compared to 37 in 2015.

Overall figures show 232 reports in Worcestershire of accidents that caused death or serious injury, up from 211 in 2015 - a 10 per cent rise.

It increased by 43 per cent when compared to the 162 reports in 2012.

Last month Samual Lewis Orchard, of Salford Priors, was cycling along Buckle Street in Honeybourne when he collided with a silver Land Rover Freelander.

The former Alcester Academy pupil, who had a passion for adventures and wildlife, was taken to hospital with serious head injuries where he sadly died.

Chief inspector James Dunn, Operations Department, West Mercia Police said, there were many reasons for the rise.

He said: "With more vehicles and people using our road network there is potentially a greater risk present.

"Fluctuations in the weather, fuel prices, reduction in public transport, changes to recording of collision data and many other factors can also contribute.

"Everything we do is informed by collision and casualty data, and we analyse five-year trends in order to gain a much fuller picture of the target groups that we need to be focusing on, rather than comparing year on year figures which can be affected by such fluctuations."

He added: "Every road death is a tragedy and protecting people from harm remains our priority. Over the last ten years, road deaths have been on a general downward trend which is encouraging. However this reduction has flattened out and recently we have seen some increases in those killed or seriously injured both nationally and locally.

He added West Mercia Police had a very strong road safety strategy, and reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads was a key priority.

He said: "We will continue to work together with our communities and partners to make our roads safer."