20 percent of London cyclists ‘stop bike commuting’

Survey for BBC suggests big drop in cycle commuter numbers

London's cycling population has declined by 20 percent, according to a BBC survey that's been angrily refuted by Andrew Gilligan, the capital's cycling commissioner

A fifth of London cyclists have stopped biking to work because of a series of recent deaths on the capital’s roads.


That’s according to a Com Res poll for the BBC, who questioned more than 1,000 people, a quarter of whom said they were cyclists. The survey has been condemned by Andrew Gilligan, London’s cycling commissioner, as being open to a ‘massive margin of error’ because of the small sample size used in the poll.  

The survey said 20 percent of the cyclists surveyed – approximately 50 people – claimed they had been involved in a collision. Twenty percent also said they had stopped cycling since six cyclists died in a two week period in November.

The poll also found that almost two thirds of the cyclists group rode on the pavement to avoid dangerous junctions and road sections and 30 percent said they had changed their route to work.

The survey comes on the day Gilligan and a representative from the Met Police will give evidence on bike safety in the capital to Parliament’s Transport Select Committee.

Today Gilligan said: “The actual number of cyclists saying they had given up in this poll was little more than 50. The margin of error means that the true proportion of cyclists giving up could have been less than half the BBC’s claim. Even that, however, is of concern to the Mayor [Boris Johnson] and vindicates his determination to spend so much money and hire so many new staff to improve London’s roads for cyclists, something that was happening before this recent tragic spate of deaths.”


On Friday last week, more than 1,000 cyclists staged a so-called die-in outside transport for London’s offices called for accelerated improvements to cycling infrastructure around the capital.