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Cycling now the most popular form of rush hour transport on London streets, report shows

Cycling Weekly

City of London report shows four-fold increase in cycling in City in last 19 years


Anyone in London will be able to tell you about the surge in cycling numbers in the capital in recent years, but the latest survey of transport modes in the capital has shown in stark detail just how popular cycling has become.

The City of London Corporation has been running its Traffic in the City study for the last 19 years, with its survey of traffic at 15 locations in the City of London showing loud and clear the huge uptake in cycling over those years.

Since 1999 all modes of above-ground transport have reduced by 25-50 per cent, with the exception of cycling, which is now four times as popular as it was 19 years ago.

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What’s more, at peak times (between 08:00-10:00 and 17:00-19:00) the numbers of cyclists exceed the numbers of cars, taxis, buses, motorcycles, or goods vehicles.

However it’s not all good news when it comes to the level of cycling in the City of London, with the report pointing out that the increase in cycling numbers has slowed since 2012.

“While this is not a extrapolatory exercise”, the report states,”it does appear that the City counts have reached ‘peak cycle’ over the last five years, suggesting that significant changes in cycling infrastructure provision and/or travel behaviour may be needed to spur further growth in cycling on City streets.”

The report has also included pedestrian numbers for the first time, and points out how the large amount of space dedicated to private vehicles carries a relatively small number of people.

“Private vehicles – cars, taxis, and motorcycles/mopeds – utilised the most street space of any mode – over 53 per cent – while only carrying an estimated quarter of all people travelling on City streets,” the report continues.

“While buses only made up two percent of all counted vehicles, they carried an estimated 19 per cent of all people travelling on City streets (compared to 21 and 19 per cent for private vehicles respectively).

“Buses and private vehicles carried approximately the same number of people in the City while making up an estimated nine and 53 per cent of total street space usage respectively.”