Bikes make up a quarter of central London rush hour traffic

Transport for London survey shows popularity of commuting by bike

Cycling in London is booming

Cyclists make up around a quarter of rush hour traffic heading into central London, new figures reveal. And on one busy route – Theobald’s Road – bikes made up two thirds of total traffic during the 7am to 10am peak period.


The figures come from a two-week survey by Transport for London (TfL), conducted in April, which counted traffic at hundreds of road sites around central London. The study claims that 24 percent of total traffic counted at the sites during rush hour was made up of bikes, falling to 16 percent over the course of the whole day between 6am and 8pm. 

More than 40 percent of the traffic on three busy bridges – London, Blackfriars and Waterloo – was made up of cyclists, too. The figures also report that London Bridge is crossed by an average of 660 riders an hour, making it the busiest all-day bike route in the city centre. The numbers compare favourably with total bicycle journeys made across the rest of the country, estimated to be just two percent of total trips.

Andrew Gilligan, cycling commissioner for London, welcomed the figures and said they back up city mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to commit nearly £1bn to build cycling infrastructure and improve safety in London over the next decade. “These extraordinary figures show how enormous cycling already is in London and how urgent the task of catering for it properly has become,” Gilligan said. 


On Wednesday, in the comprehensive spending review, Johnson will learn whether chancellor George Osborne will commit the funds that will allow the mayor to double spending on cycling to £18 per person in London by 2015.