There are many things influencing the number of casualties, but as you mentioned last week, Crewe is the ‘cycling capital of Cheshire’ and this is obviously a key factor. I have therefore looked at the 2011 Census Data to extract the figures for people cycling to work in the urban areas of both Crewe and Chester on the basis that this can be used as a proxy for the total level of cycling. Note that this excludes adjacent rural wards with low casualty levels, i.e. Shavington and Haslington for Crewe and Dodleston and Huntington and Chester Villages for Chester.
In Crewe, 5.7% cycle to work, in Chester it is just 3.9%. There were 41 cycle accidents in Crewe in 2012, representing 2.07% risk. In Chester 30 accidents represent a 1.95% risk.
This indicates that, for 2012 at least, the cycle casualty rates in Crewe and Chester are within 10% of each other, even taking account the very different demographics and road network layouts. Having said that, taking a single year’s figures in isolation can be misleading so examination of other years may yield slightly different results. It should also be stressed that the “% of cycle commuters” does not represent the chance of a commuter being involved in an accident, as travel to work is only a proportion of all cycling activity.