With Bike Week underway, figures released today show that there has been a 91 per cent increase in the number of people cycling on London’s major roads since Transport for London (TfL) was created in 2000. Overall, TfL estimates that there are now in excess of 500,000 cycle journeys made every day in the Capital.
The number of people cycling in London increased for the sixth year running last year, even though last summer was the wettest since 1912. Between March 2007 and March 2008, cycling on London’s major roads grew by a further 4.5 per cent, with an estimated 20,500 more cycle journeys being made in the Capital every day. Last year was historic for cycling in the Capital as it hosted the Grand Départ of the Tour de France for the first time and saw the first London Freewheel bike ride with tens of thousands of Londoners taking to two wheels on closed roads.
To continue to support the huge rise in the popularity of cycling in the Capital, the Mayor and TfL are investing a further £55 million in cycling this year – up from £36 million last year, and a ten-fold increase on the £5.5 million spent on cycling in 2000. This money is being spent on improved cycle parking facilities, education, events and cycle promotion.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said:
“I’m delighted that a growing number of people – like me – are choosing to cycle around London, and great strides have been made. But the overall number is still too low, which suggest that many Londoners need further encouragement to take it up. Alongside TfL, the boroughs, and business, I am exploring a range of options to make cycling safer, more practical and more attractive. £2 million is to be invested in new secure parking facilities, and alongside the forthcoming bicycle hire scheme and other ambitious initiatives in the near future I’m hoping to inspire a whole new generation of cyclists.”
Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London said:
“Despite one of the wettest summers on record, Londoners’ passion for cycling continues to grow. A 91 per cent growth in cycling levels in just eight years is a great achievement, but we are working to build on this steady growth and improve conditions for cyclists still further.
“The Mayor has made cycling a top transport priority, and this year we are investing a further £55 million in cycling. As we continue to invest in new cycle lanes, improved parking facilities and bike training for people of all ages, I am confident that we will see the number of people cycling in the Capital continue to rise.”
Are you making one of those half million daily bike journeys in London and if so have you started cycling more in the last few years? What were the reasons you switched to pedal power or started riding more? Log in and have your say below.