Boris bike hires hit new record as Londoners and tourists use them to beat the Olympic crush

London transport figures all up prompting officials to fight 'ghost town' allegations

by Sarah Barth   August 6, 2012  

Barclays Cycle Hire bikes

Barclay's cycle hire rentals passed the million mark in July for the first time in any month, thanks to the Olympics in London.

Bike rentals have totalled just over 14 million in the 24 months since the scheme began; around 600,000 hires a month on average.

Olympic traffic also accounted for increased journeys on the Tube, the DLR and the London Overrground prompting transport bosses to celebrate the smooth running of the city, contradictory to doom-and-gloom predictions.

Peter Hendy, London transport commissioner, told the Guardian that all the planning had been vindicated. "We asked people to change their habits, they have done so: there are less in the peaks, more of them in the evenings," he said. "We knew there would be a lot more traffic, and we've dealt with it."

He also denied allegations that London had become a ghost town, with people staying away from the Games and the centre of town for fear of congestion and overcrowding.

He said: "You might even deduce that people are going to Olympic events or the live sites or watching it in pubs."

The DLR carried a record-breaking 500,000 people on Friday, and Tube passenger numbers peaked on the same day at 4.4 million.

Many ordinary Londoners have taken to bicycles to get around town, with posters in Tube stations suggesting it might be quicker to walk or cycle.

But Dan Harris, who had decided to start commuting to work, was killed on Wednesday when he was involved in a collision with a coach outside the Olympic Park.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said of the transport figures: "This jaw dropping weekend of outstanding sporting success for Team GB has seen many hundreds of thousands of people travelling to 2012 venues and crowds several deep lining the streets to cheer on Triathlon and Marathon competitors.

"Now London's transport network is continuing to put in some record breaking performances of its own as it moves people into and across the city. This is testimony to years of meticulous planning and billions of pounds in investment which combined has ensured that athletes, spectators, officials and media are being ferried smoothly to their events."

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Really not sure why Dan Harris has been included in this piece, it's not really relevant and the wording suggests that he decided to commute purely as a result of the Olympics whereas the last article about his sad death states

Quote:
"He wasn't just cycling because of the high profile it has received because of the Olympics, he was just going backwards and forwards to work as he always did."

which implies he was a regular and experienced commuter.

posted by drheaton [3282 posts]
6th August 2012 - 11:48

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