Surprising Census Results Demonstrate London's Bicycle Bona Fides

Move over Amsterdam. A new study of London's road use patterns has found that bicycles account for 24 percent of all road traffic during the morning commute. At nearly a fifth of the areas monitored, bikes actually outnumbered other vehicles.

1 minute read

July 1, 2013, 2:00 PM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


"The biggest ever census of bike use in the city reveals one in four road users during the morning rush hour is a cyclist - and on key routes such as river crossings and roundabouts bikes even outnumber all other vehicles," reports Matthew Beard. "Separate Transport for London figures already show that cyclists now make 570,000 trips in London every day compared with 290,000 trips in 2001."

So how do these astonishing figues compare to Amsterdam, the global icon of bicycle-friendliness. "Almost 9,300 riders - 11 a minute - cross London Bridge a day. Along Amsterdam’s busiest cycle route through the Rijksmuseum there is a daily frequency of 13,000," notes Beard. 

"Andrew Gilligan, London Mayor Boris Johnson's cycling commissioner, said: 'These incredible, near-Dutch results show how enormous cycling already is in London and how urgent the task of catering for it has become. Cyclists may make up 24 per cent of the traffic across central London, but they still get much less than 24 per cent of policy-makers’ attention. These extraordinary figures disprove any claim that cycling is marginal and that investing in it is indulgent.'”

"Research was commissioned by Mr Johnson and the findings will help City Hall deliver the Mayor’s £1 billion cycle revolution through a more extensive cycle network," adds Beard.

Monday, June 24, 2013 in London Evening Standard

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