London cycle commuting surges in face of Tube strike

Barclays Cycle Hire scheme sees 60% increase

by Mark Appleton   September 7, 2010  

london cycle.jpg

It may not be a scientific study, but undertook a scan of London webcams during the peak commuting hour this morning to get a feel for how the Tube strike has affected the number of cyclists commuting in the capital today.


We used the website to monitor a selection of traffic cameras from Transport for London and other webcams, and having viewed images from the same cameras yesterday, it does appears there has been a considerable increase in cycle commuting today.

Our observations are backed up by Transport for London who say there was a 60% increase in use of the newly launched Barclays Cycle Hire scheme between 8.00 and 9.00am this morning compared to yesterday's usage.

Further anecdotal evidence of the cycling surge is being provided by Twitter posts.
One member of the cycling Twitterati, Vladimir Becerra, sounded especially pleased with his commute, tweeting: “This morning was pretty gangsta' - Might start doing it more often! Feeling suppa' - Thx @ TFLtubstrike 4 the encouragement.”

Another who had taken the car was already regretting his decision. Dougie Cow tweeted: “The only good thing about taking the car to work is you stay dry. Wish I'd taken the bike, I'd rather be wet & happy cycling.”

If you commuted by bike in London today what was your experience? Post a comment below to give us your perspective on a day when cycling has once again taken centre stage in the life of the capital.

5 user comments

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I'm a big fan of the Boris Bikes - I registered as soon as the scheme launched, rode one home on day one and have made countless journeys since.

That said, I didn't expect to find any bikes free this morning, so was quite shocked to see a solitary machine at my local docking station in Vauxhall.

The journey itself was very pleasant, but trying to find a free docking space in town was, unsurprisingly, a nightmare. Big queues everywhere, people not sure how to work the docking machines, not much fun. I was really lucky to find a free space near my office but this problem needs to be sorted for the scheme to be a real success.

It's not just a problem on rare strike days - pretty much every morning, it's hard to find a spare bike in zone two and near-impossible to find a free dock in zone one. The reverse situation happens in the evenings, of course.

I applaud this scheme in general and anything that puts more bikes on the capital's roads can only be a good thing, in my opinion. That said, they really need to sort out the distribution of bikes to make the system a real success.

Perhaps when they open the scheme to pay-as-you-go customers, there'll be a more 'organic' flow of bikes between docking stations throughout the day. At the moment, it's a bit of a nightmare during peak periods.

posted by Yennings [230 posts]
7th September 2010 - 11:43


Commute into City of London was fine this morning.
Traffic was at a standstill, which slowed me down quite a bit, but it's always nice to zoom past queues of cars. Loads of other cyclists out there too, which made it very hard to find a parking space outside my office. We're triple parking on the bike stands out there!

posted by AleT [53 posts]
7th September 2010 - 13:26

1 Like

Spotted someone had put a lock through the wheel of a boris bike at lunchtime, obviously hoping to reserve it for his ride home. Checked work for a set of bolt croppers but no joy Smile

posted by ARGYLL [5 posts]
7th September 2010 - 13:36


A few observations from my normal train-Brompton commute Nerd

* quite a few commuters flouting the train guidelines and bringing their non-folding bikes on during peak periods, blocking the aisles resulting in snide comments from other passengers aimed at anyone carrying a cycle helmet Sad
* a lot more people walking and jogging to work (whilst listening to their iPods) and stepping off the pavement without notice Angry
* significantly more cyclists many of which were clearly not accustomed to riding in London and further tarnishing the reputation of cyclists Crying
* And - Barclays cyles' rear mudguards aren't effective. Where's the wet faced smiley?

posted by Old Cranky [278 posts]
8th September 2010 - 12:45


At Wits End he looks a bit wet-faced

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
8th September 2010 - 13:09