A CYCLIST is in a critical condition after being knocked off his bike.

The crash, which involved a Suzuki Swift, happened in Preston Old Road, Blackburn, near the entrance to Witton Park as the 69-year-old cyclist headed towards the town centre.

Police said he suffered serious head injuries and was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital.

Specially trained officers were supporting the injured man’s family yesterday. Police said they were not able to confirm whether or not he was wearing a helmet.

The driver stopped at the scene. No arrests have been made. Sgt John Jennings-Wharton said the circum-stances of the crash were not known.

Coun Michael Lee, of the Beardwood with Lammack ward, said: “The popularity of cycling has picked up a lot and there are lots more people out and about on bikes.

“I think drivers need to be more alert for cyclists, but equally sometimes cyclists need to be more alert to cars too. The problem is, if you are a cyclist, you invariably come off worse than the motorist.

“One of the problems is we never designed the roads for cars and cyclists to be together. If there is something that can be learned from this accident we will have a look at it.”

Sgt Jennings-Wharton appealed for anybody with information which happened around 12.15pm on Sunday, to get in touch.

He said: “Witton Park was busy with people on Sunday enjoying the fine weather.

“Both the Suzuki Swift and the pedal cycle were travelling towards Blackburn town centre from the Pleasington area and I urge anyone who saw either the car or the pedal cyclist at that time in the area of the collision to contact police.”

Anybody with information should call police on 101 quoting log number 0783 of June 1.