Cycling surges on London’s Cycle Superhighways

Cycle hire animation - Boris Johnson

The bank-sponsored Cycle Superhighways come in for a lot of stick from some quarters but new Transport for London figures show that the blue cycle lanes are attracting more and more cyclists. TfL claims that some sections have seen cycle journey increases of up to 100 per cent during peak times.

TfL figures show that the number of cyclists along the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighway routes, which run from Merton to the City and Barking to Tower Gateway, have risen by 70 percent with increases of 100 per cent or more seen on some sections during peak hours.

TfL compared figures for cyclists using the two pilot Barclays Cycle Superhighways on the A24 and A13 during October 2010 and compared them to the same roads in 2009. They found a 50 per cent increase in the total number of cyclists using the A24, and on the A13 cyclist numbers more than doubled for the same period.  When looking at the total number of cyclists using both routes in October 2009 compared with October 2010, the number rose by 70 per cent.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, said: “It is great to see that the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighways are well on the way to achieving our goal to increase cycling in the Capital. This research shows that people do believe the routes are of value, make them feel safer and are allowing them to take direct and continuous routes into central London.”

Ashok Sinha, the CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “LCC is delighted to hear that more Londoners are taking to two wheels because of the new Barclays Cycle Superhighways. Our members will continue to work with Transport for London to build on this positive result, so that we can further increase the quality of provision in the next set of routes.”

TfL research was carried out one month after the launch of the scheme, with people who live near and travel on the pilot routes. TfL found that 34 per cent of non-cyclists surveyed had begun to cycle on the Barclays Cycle Superhighways following their launch. Wider benefits have shown that more than four in ten cyclists along the routes have increased the amount they cycle elsewhere in London as a result of Barclays Cycle Superhighways and around three in ten have purchased a bike or cycling equipment.

On average the time spent travelling on Barclays Cycle Superhighways per journey is around 21 minutes for the Merton to City route and 17 minutes along the Barking to Tower Gateway route. Around 80 per cent of journeys made along both routes are cyclists commuting to and from work.

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “This research clearly shows that Barclays Cycle Superhighways are meeting the objectives we set out to achieve.  Work has already started on the next two Barclays Cycle Superhighways providing cyclists with direct and reliable cycle routes into London.

“TfL is also working closely with the relevant London boroughs and a whole range of interested parties to ensure that we maximise every opportunity to improve the cycle commute for those already using these routes, and attract many more thousands of Londoners to join them.”

Deanna Oppenheimer, Vice-Chair, Global Retail Banking, CEO Western Europe and CEO UK Retail Banking at Barclays, said: “Increasing transport capacity is important for investment and jobs in London. With new cyclists using Barclays Cycle Superhighways, existing cyclists increasing their time on the roads of the Capital, and the cycle industry continuing to see investment, this is evidence of the success of the first two pilot routes.”

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