SUSSEX has been named the UK’s most dangerous county for cyclists.

Travellers relying on pedal power in the county were involved in more collisions than anywhere else in the country last year.

Hampshire claimed to hold the record earlier this month with 567 crashes in 2018.

But newly released data from Sussex Police surpassed that figure with a total of 600 crashes.

Of these, 140 had the cyclist listed as “vehicle one” which Sussex Police Freedom of Information officer Roger Brace said “would tend to suggest that the cyclist was at fault”.

But he said this could also mean “they were still hit by a car or that they were the only vehicle involved”.

The bicycle was the second vehicle in the majority of cases, 442, while it was the third vehicle in 17 cases and the fourth vehicle in just one incident.

Mr Brace said: “We cannot however report if the cyclists recorded as vehicle two, three or four were in collision with a car or not.

“It could be as simple as being knocked off by a car door opening or being clipped by a bus in Brighton.”

The data has been compiled by cycling injury specialists using Freedom of Information requests submitted to police.

There were also 13 crashes in which a cyclist hit a pedestrian.

Almost a third of these happened in a carriageway or crossing, while another 38 per cent happened on a footway or verge.

There have been several crashes involving bicycles in Sussex in 2019.

In the early hours of August 1 a 48-year-old cyclist was killed in a hit and run car crash on the A259 in Hawthorn Road near Littlehampton.

The bike and car were both travelling in the same direction when the collision happened.

A 94-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but was later released on bail.

In March another cyclist was hit by a car and said he would have died if he had not been wearing a helmet.

Erik Selby, from Peacehaven, was cycling along Madeira Drive in Brighton when the collision happened.

The 29-year-old said: “I flew straight into the windscreen, spun around quite a few times and eventually landed about two metres in front of the car.

“The paramedics were surprised, after seeing the car and bike, that I had no immediately obvious broken bones or head injuries.

“They said it was clear that the helmet could certainly have saved my life in this situation, especially as I hit my head so many times.”