Reason London Failed in Becoming a Cycling City

During WWII, thousands of bicycles were stolen from the Dutch by occupying Germans, leaving them unable to get around. In Britain, however, strict patrol rationing meant bicycle use rose considerably because it was the only way to get around.

According to Joe Peach, "As soon as the Brits had the opportunity to get off their bicycles they did, with car ownership increasing rapidly in the post-war years, and continuing to remain high. This despite the fact that, as in the Netherlands, campaigns to improve London's bicycle provisions and encourage a return to bicycle use have been happening since the 1970s."

"Even during the earliest stages of the London Cycle Network, a lack of ambition was obvious, with the preface of the official design manual noting ‘the design of cycle facilities frequently requires a range of compromises to be made.' These compromises are not only clear in functionality, but in a failure to increase cycling. Ambitious goals to increase the amount of trips taken by bicycle from 1998 levels of 1.36% to 10% in 2012 have not been achieved, or even come close to being achieved," says Peach.

Full Story: How London Tried (and Failed) to Become a Cycling City


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