Cycling in London has increased by five per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to 2015, according to the latest report from the capital’s transport body.
The report by Transport for London commissioner, Mike Brown, says there was a 50 per cent increase in people using the new cycle superhighways since they were completed, with cycles making up 52 per cent of traffic on Victoria Embankment (E-W route) each day in the morning and evening peaks. More than 15,000 people use two major cycle superhighways during the morning and evening peaks.
The report also reveals £12m was raised for charities over the Prudential RideLondon weekend, while Santander Cycles, now in its sixth year, had a record breaking July, with nearly 1.2 million hires.
The document describes the Cycle Superhighway scheme as a “step change” for cycling safety in London, with final sections on the East-West route being built West of Parliament Square.
It says: “The number of people using the Cycle Superhighways continues to grow. There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of cyclists using the North-South and East-West Cycle Superhighways, taking the total number to 8,400 using Blackfriars Bridge and 7,000 using Victoria Embankment each day in the morning and evening peaks.
“Growth rates along Vauxhall Bridge on Cycle Superhighway 5 have been equally strong. Along Victoria Embankment, cyclists account for 52 per cent of all traffic during the peak, with up to 95 per cent of them using the cycle track rather than the carriageway.”
Cycling within the Congestion Charge zone in Central London increased five per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with 2015.
London Cycling Campaign’s Infrastructure Campaigner, Simon Munk, said the figures make the case for further investment in cycling and walking.
“This report demonstrates what a massive success the high-quality new infrastructure has been,” Munk told road.cc.
“Now we want to see the new Mayor and his team to move forward with not just approving schemes that received positive public consultation results such as Westminster Bridge and CS11, but also with new schemes – for instance the long-awaited Cycle Superhighways CS4 and CS9.
He said the Mayor needs to look at Oxford Street pedestrianisation plans in the context of cycling, and linking up Oxford Street East towards Old Street for cycling and walking.
“We want the momentum on cycling, walking and “Healthy Streets” maintained,” he said.
The next steps for phase two of the N-S Cycle Superhighway and CS11 are due to be published later this year, following publication of consultation results over the summer.
Meanwhile, Santander Cycles had a record breaking July, with nearly 1.2 million hires, including 92,000 over the final weekend of the month. The scheme celebrated its sixth birthday with a free weekend on 13-14 August.
Quietway 2 from Bloomsbury to Hackney, is due to be completed by November, while 35km of the Central London Grid is now complete or under construction, representing more than 40 per cent of the “core network”. The Quietways programme has been criticised as a “failure”, including by London’s former Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, for not doing enough to curb rat running traffic along routes intended for less confident cyclists.
Concerns were raised recently over the future of London’s cycling budget as a large portion of central government funding is set to be withdrawn over coming years, but were branded “complete nonsense” by Khan’s office.