Bike use more than doubles in city centre from 2001-10 - but it's a different story in some outlying boroughs...

New graphics from data mapping specialists ITO World clearly show how travel patterns in London have changed during the past decade, clearly showing how use of bicycles (shown in the graphic above) more than doubled in the centre of the city between 2001 and 2010.

The map was compiled using data gathered by traffic counters for the Department for Transport. More background on that can also be found on the Guardian Data Blog, which also has separate graphics for cars, buses and coaches, light goods vehicles and lorries.

The bright red dots on the map above show where levels of cycling have gone up by 100 per cent or more between 2001 and 2010; the corresponding map for car use, shows blue circles dominating the city of centre – a reflection, among other things, of the introduction of the Congestion Charging Zone in 2003.

While cycling levels across Greater London have generally risen during the period, there are a number of locations outside the centre where declining numbers of cyclists were recorded.

That’s something current Mayor Boris Johnson said he planned to address through the Biking Boroughs initiative launched in early 2010.

It was another year before any funding was confirmed for that, however, and the £4 million put aside that the 13 Outer London boroughs signed up to the scheme were allowed to apply for relates to a three-year period – an average of around £100,000 per borough per year.

That’s dwarfed by the £140 million that is being pumped into central London’s Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme over its first six years of operation, including sponsorship of £25 million.

Critics of Mr Johnson’s cycling policy have said that cash being spent on that and other initiatives such as the Barclays Cycle Superhighways have come at the expense of funding for cycling in Outer London boroughs.

It’s not the first time we’ve featured ITO World’s work here on road.cc. Last year, the company produced a data visualization of road casualties in Britain between 2000 and 2010, and last month road safety organisation See Me Save Me commissioned it to compile a similar interactive map focused on pedestrian and cyclist casualties in London.



Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


thebongolian [47 posts] 5 years ago

As far as I can tell these measurements are only made on A roads (and motorways) which probably distorts the results a bit. For instance might changes to infrastructure moved cyclists of A roads in outer borough? Whereas in central London it's hard to avoid being on an A road at some point if you're a cyclist so the increase there will be genuine.