The number of fatalities on North Yorkshire's roads has soared by 60 per cent.

In 2013, 51 people were killed compared with 31 over the previous 12 months.

Sixteen of those fatalities were motorcyclists - a 220 per cent increase - while the number of elderly people who were the victim of fatal accidents almost doubled, from six to 11.

The number of cycling fatalities rose from two to three but the number of cyclists to suffer serious injuries rose nine per cent to 49.

Pedestrian deaths jumped from five to seven although those seriously injured fell four per cent from 442 to 425.

The total number of road casualties - ranging from deaths through to minor injuries fell four per cent to 2,273.

Police and highway bosses are particularly concerned in the rise of cycling incidents as North Yorkshire prepares to host the Tour De France Grand Depart.

The only encouraging note was that the number of children hurt was reduced - with no deaths and a 22 per cent cut to 21 in under 15’s seriously injured.

The county's death rate is the highest for seven years compared with a two per cent fall across Britain between January and September last year.

County councillor Gareth Dadd, executive member for road safety said: “These are very alarming and worrying statistics. Even allowing for the fact that the total for 2012 was an all-time low, there are still far too many people dying unnecessarily on our roads."

Tim Madgwick, Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police added: “I am extremely concerned about this rise in the number of people being killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads and we are working very closely with our partners to improve road safety.

“By raising awareness about this serious issue, we want all road users to play a key role in helping our efforts.

“The upcoming Grand Depart of the Tour De France will be a spectacular event for the Yorkshire area and we want everybody to have a lasting impression, particularly the expected influx of keen cyclists who will ride the routes before and after the race.

“To keep safe, we strongly encourage cyclists to make themselves fully familiar with the routes and to take every precaution before setting off on a ride.”