One in Four Road Commuters Is Going to Work on a Bike

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard Transport Editor

ONE in four morning rush-hour road users in London is now cyclists, revealing how our passion for bikes has taken off in a big way.

The largest ever census of cycling in the capital also reveals that bikes outnumber all other vehicles on key routes such as river crossings and roundabouts.

The study for City Hall reveals that Theobald's Road, Holborn, is London's busiest cycling street, with 64 per cent of vehicles in the morning peak being bikes, followed by Kennington Park Road, which runs between Kennington and Oval (57 per cent) and Old Street, Shoreditch (49 per cent).

At 29 of the 164 monitoring locations, cyclists made up the majority of vehicles, in a sign that the bike boom is helping London to close the gap on Amsterdam as a leading cycling capital. Almost 9,300 riders a day -- 11 a minute -- cross London Bridge, compared to 13,000 on Amsterdam's busiest cycle route through the Rijksmuseum.

Separate Transport for London figures already show that cyclists make 570,000 trips in London a day compared to 290,000 trips in 2001.

Blackfriars, Waterloo and London bridges are among the top 10 busiest cycle streets, where cyclists make up 42 per cent of traffic, but take up just 12 per cent of road space.

Andrew Gilligan, 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 policymakers' attention. These extraordinary figures disprove any claim that cycling is marginal and that investing in it is indulgent."

Bikes now account for 24 per cent of all traffic in central London during the morning peak and 16 per cent across the day. Some 70 per cent of journeys are during morning and evening peaks -- more than other form of transport.

The research was commissioned by Mr Johnson and the findings will help City Hall deliver the Mayor's cycle revolution through a more extensive cycle network. Although Mr Johnson has budgeted [pounds sterling]913 million for cycling schemes, this may be cut if Chancellor George Osborne makes deep cuts to TfL's budget in this Wednesday's spending review. …