AN investigation has been launched into how to stem an upsurge in cycling casualties on Yorkshire Dales roads made famous by the Tour de France.

North Yorkshire County Council said it had identified concerns in Richmondshire that cyclists are bucking the county’s improving road safety record.

Thousands of people lined its roads, including at Hawes at the foot of Buttertubs Pass, during the 2014 Grand Depart.

Its Annual Road Casualty Report reveals while the number of people killed or seriously injured on the district’s roads fell by 17 per cent in 2016 compared to the average for the previous four years, there had been an increase of nearly 90 per cent for cyclists over the same period.

The total of 11 cyclists killed or seriously injured in Richmondshire is the joint highest for the county since records began.

The area’s Highways Manager Richard Marr said while every other category of Richmondshire road user had seen falls in incidents, “the worrying part of it is the cyclists”.

He said: “That has been rising every year since 2012.

"There is work going on to see if there is anything different we can do from a highways authority perspective to deal with that.”

Mr Marr said as cyclists were being drawn to areas such as Richmondshire due to its scenery and quiet roads, the authority was examining police accident reports in an attempt to identify cycling safety hotspots.

Mr Marr said while road warning signs were currently aimed at motorists, there were no specific alerts for cyclists. He said a study was in its initial stages, but the authority may consider installing signs for cyclists at known danger points, such as where roads cross cycle tracks.

Mr Marr said the rise in cycling injuries in the area appeared to be linked to the resurgence in cycling, which has been attributed to the international cycling events North Yorkshire has hosted.

Meanwhile, Department for Transport records show in the three years before the Grand Depart, there were 186 cyclists killed or seriously injured.

In the three years after it rose to 246.