CYCLISTS from Southampton have been branded the most careless in the UK.

Direct Line revealed that 78 per cent of city residents do not have insurance to cover their bike.

This comes after the insurance company commissioned a new 'Bi-High-Cycle' sculpture to be created, representing the 1,100 bikes stolen everyday across the UK.

Despite the high number of thefts and one in 10 (11 per cent) saying they bought a bicycle in 2021, many UK cyclists are still leaving it to chance as more than half (61 per cent) claim they do not have specialist insurance in place to cover their bikes; yet, nearly a fifth of UK cyclists (19 per cent) list their bicycle (including kit) as their most important possession.

Alison Traboulsi, marketing manager at Direct Line Cycling Insurance says: “Unlike car insurance, when it comes to dealing with bicycle theft or accidents, many cyclists are unprepared for the consequences. Replacing a bicycle, or paying out for liability costs, can be extremely pricey and not something everyone may be in a position to do right away. Theft is revealed as costing UK cyclists £34.1 million each year in alternative travel alone, so there’s a real importance of ensuring cover is in place – especially as cycling usage increases.

“Insight shows over a third of cyclists will need to pay for repairs from accidents, which can carry significant costs through a bike and cyclist’s lifetime. A cost that could be mitigated with the purchase of specialist insurance.

“Direct Line wanted to delve into the real impact of bicycle theft and accidents, beyond the incident itself and what it means for those who have lost or damaged their bike or been subject to personal injury. On average, 45 bikes are stolen every hour in the UK. Cyclists need to consider what protection should be put in place to ensure they’re potentially covered for this.”

Direct Line's mechanical sculpture was created by Bristol-based artist Jason Lane who looked to bring attention to the staggering levels of bike theft in the UK.

UK victims shell out an extra £34.1 million on having to use different transport after having their bikes stolen.

Bikes are also among some of the most expensive personal purchases, with 16 per cent admitting to spending a whopping £500 on their bike and accessories, and over a third (39 per cent) admitted to treating themselves to a bicycle for Christmas 2021.