Transport boss calls for ‘century of cycling’

25-year plan to get more bums on bikes

It's hoped that events like the Sky Ride series will encourage more people to use bikes for local transport

Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy has outlined a 25-year plan to make cycling the preferred method of transport for local journeys. In front of an audience of professional planners and policy makers at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, he made the case for a programme of measures to herald what he called “the Century of Cycling”.


These ideas included:

  • More and improved cycle lanes and cycle-friendly traffic-junctions.
  • More cycle training, not only for cyclists – both adults and children – but also bus and lorry drivers, to help reduce the 40 percent of cycling accidents that involve a heavy goods (HGV) or passenger carrying vehicle (PCV).
  • More cycle parking.
  • Easy-to-access journey/route planning information for cyclists.
  • Workplace and school travel planning to get the cycling culture ingrained into daily commuting.
  • Improving the reputation of cycling by challenging misperceptions of ‘danger’.
  • Using green spaces to make more attractive cycleways.
  • Continuing with Sky Rides and similar schemes.
  • Improving integration of cycling with other complementary modes of transport including rail and bus services.

Hendy said: “Cycling is on the rise and we need to push it to the forefront of transport provision, so that the real advances of recent years in London and in some regional towns and cities can fan out across the country.”

London was held up as an example of progress, with cycling up 150 percent in the English capital since 2000. Hendy said improvements in road safety had been a major factor in the growth. UK cycling casualty rates have fallen from around 60 per billion kilometres in 1980 to between 20 and 25 today.

2010 appears to have been a particularly good year for cycling in the capital, with a 15 percent increase in cycling levels and an increase in cycling injuries of just nine percent over the previous year, suggesting an improvement in cycling safety per kilometre cycled (ie. cycling rates rising faster than accident rates). 


Hendy also used the lecture at the CILT to launch The Hub, a new and free online source of carefully-selected guidance for those working to get more people cycling – much of it inherited from Cycling England.