Distance covered grows by 5%, but most cyclists still white, middle-aged and rich
City Hall said the increase, recorded by Transport for London, was evidence investment in infrastructure, including cycle lanes and revised signalling at junctions, was paying off. The figure is almost three times higher than the average 1.8% growth in distance nationwide.
Cycling campaigners welcomed the figures but cautioned previous studies had showed growth in distance travelled was not necessarily a sign of more people cycling, and said more needed to be done to encourage wider take-up.
London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, said: “The mayor is determined to enable more cycling all across the capital, and I’m really pleased last year saw the biggest increase in the amount of cycling in London since records began.”
TfL’s monitoring began in 2015. The figures showed an 8% increase in overall distance travelled in central London in 2018, higher than in outer boroughs, possibly due in part to the completion of two central sections of superhighway.
Norman added: “It is clear that where we have invested in new high-quality routes, people feel safer and more confident cycling on London’s streets. And it is yet more evidence for boroughs across London that investing in walking and cycling infrastructure works – getting more people healthy and active as part of their everyday routine, and making our streets cleaner, greener and safer.”
According to Cycling UK, the proportion of journeys made by bike nationwide has remained static at about 2% but London and other cities, including Leicester, Cambridge and Manchester, had higher growth after investing in active travel.
Sam Jones, of Cycling UK, said: “The important thing is getting protected space and routes where people feel safe.”
He added: “Any growth in cycling is a good thing, but we’re clearly a long way from when women, children and the elderly feel comfortable and safe enough to make those shorter local journeys – whether those are to the shops, school, education – all of which are needed not just to increase the diversity of people who are cycling but also the amount of people cycling.”
Do cyclists think they’re above the law, and does it even matter? – video TfL’s analysis shows just 27% of cyclists are women, and the dominant demographic profile of people using its new infrastructure was still white, middle-aged, high-income men. Surveys of seven new stretches of lanes, both superhighways and “quietways”, found the majority of users felt safer although concerns about road surfaces remained.
Fran Graham, the campaigns coordinator of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “Time and time again, evidence shows that if you create the conditions that mean people feel safe cycling, they will. But the mayor has a way to go before London is known as a ‘byword for cycling’ – it’s why it is so important that he hits his target to triple protected cycle track by the end of his term.”
She added: “Borough councils also have a large part to play – the recent actions of Kensington and Chelsea to oppose walking and cycling improvements are holding London back, stopping it from becoming a world-class cycling city.”
London records biggest rise in cycling journeys in 2018 | The Guardian
Distance covered grows by 5%, but most cyclists still white, middle-aged and rich Gwyn TophamLast modified on Thu 4 Jul 2019 12.21 BST Cycling journeys grew by 5% in London last year, with more than 4m km travelled each day by bike in the capital, figures show. City Hall said the increase, recorded by Transport… [Read More]