WITH Essex Police recently reporting Southend was the worst area in the county for accidents involving cyclists, we ask if our roads are safe for cyclists.

YES by Martin Terry, Southend's councillor for transport.

I BELIEVE Southend is a safe place to cycle and this is not me sitting in an ivory tower dictating this – I’m a cyclist myself and have always found Southend a pleasant place to cycle.

We have invested a lot in creating a path for cyclists to use Queensway and Victoria Circus and there are a lot of areas for cyclist to cycle safely.

We are also marking out a new temporary cycle route across the town centre, which will become permanent once we have received feedback.

In another move, we are also considering making all residential streets 20 mph zones, as Bournemouth has done.

I know from my own experience it’s generally safe but, as with anything, you can’t legislate for human behaviour.

Southend is a very busy town and parts of it are among the most densely populated in the United Kingdom, so you would expect the number of incidents would increase in line with that.

However, the council contests the figures presented by Essex Police – that Southend saw 45 cyclists killed or seriously injured in accidents last year.

Essex County Council figures between January and October last year show there to have been only 15.

We are always looking to make Southend safer and the Government is confident in what we are doing and is willing to provide us with more funding.

They would not be doing this if we weren’t doing a good job.

NO by John Hagon. Mr Hagon, 50, of Keyes Close, Shoebury, was knocked off his bike in a hit-and-run crash last month, breaking his collarbone, meaning he had to undergo surgery.

AT the moment I don’t believe roads in Southend are safe enough for cyclists.

I was knocked over on Frobisher Way in Shoebury.

Just looking at the safety of that road, the street lighting is not very bright and you do get a lot of speeding motorists coming down that stretch of road.

I think street lighting could be improved across town and we could do with more cycling tracks, like they have at Southend seafront.

I work in London and the cycle lanes there are painted in blue, for example, which makes them much easier to see.

The motorists are not allowed to encroach upon them and, from the kerb to the outside of the road, they are probably about 100 metres wide.

I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I did.

When I was hit, I landed on my head and my shoulder and was unconscious for about 20 to 30 seconds.

I’ve jolted my collarbone and I’ve got to go back to the hospital to have an X-ray done, which might show I need more surgery.

But it could have been a lot worse.

When the vehicle careered into me, I swerved to lessen the impact, but I could have died.