A BRITISH Cycling coach from Belvedere who was almost killed in a cycling accident says he is not surprised by the sudden spike in casualties on the borough’s roads.

Ray Harrad was travelling along the A20 from Eynsford towards Farningham when he was suddenly hit by a car.

The 77-old’s bike shattered into four pieces and he suffered a broken collarbone during the collision with a Honda Civic on June 19.

Figures released by Bexley Council show the number of casualties on the borough’s roads has risen by 70 per cent in a year.

Mr Harrad, of Kentish Road, told News Shopper: "I was riding along the A20 just before the turn off for Eynesford and the next thing I know I was in a ditch, my collarbone had broken and my bike was in about four pieces.

"The car was travelling about 45mph and I fortunately ended up on the grass verge."

Latest figures released by Bexley Council show the number of cyclists hurt on the borough’s road has risen from 27 in 2011 to 46 the following year.

The British Cycling Federation coach and chair of the Bexley Sports Council said: "It’s not surprising. If the number of cyclists has risen, so will the number of accidents.

"Some of the country lanes are very bad, but councils are struggling with expenditure from repairing roads. It can be a safety issue.

"If they inspect it they’re not liable. I had a case a year or so ago. They had inspected it but it was raining. I don’t see how they can inspect it in those conditions."

Mr Harrad, who is member of Bexleyheath-based Gemini Bicycle Club and Woolwich Cycling Club, which meets in Bexley Village once a week, says he has not been put off by his near death experience.

He said: "I want to get back as soon as possible.

"I was obviously in shock and I’m having to wear a sling for about six weeks so it mends."

While cycling casualties are on the rise, the number of pedestrian casualties fell by 24 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

There were 123 incidents in 2011 compared to 94 the following year.

According to the latest Bexley survey by TfL, there’s been a 1 per cent increase in the number of borough residents cycling to work at least once a week, from 7 per cent between 2005-08 to 8 per cent between 2008 to 2011.