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Cycle trips equivalent to 10% of bus journeys in London

New report highlights importance of continued investment in cycling ahead of London Mayoral elections, and announces new 'superhub' at Waterloo Station...

Cycling trips in London are now the equivalent of one in ten bus trips, and one fifth of tube journeys, according to new figures disclosed by Transport for London (TfL).

The figures were revealed in  an annual report updating TfL's finance and policy committee on the Cycling Vision Portfolio.

The report says: "Cycling is now a major mode of transport, with daily trips equating to
10 per cent of all bus passenger trips in London, or one fifth of all tube passenger trips. This is
just less than the number of trips on the DLR and Overground combined."

It added: “This period has seen a strong growth in cycling, with some roads in London now experiencing their highest-ever recorded cycling levels.”

Plowden told the Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall: “Cycling, though it’s still seen by some as a fringe pursuit carried out by a committed minority, is actually a really important way for people to get around the city in large numbers.

“People are realising that, as cycling gets safer and feels safer, that journey times from the south end of the Northern line or from Kilburn into central London are comparable the bus or the Tube.”

He added: “The volume of people doing it means we are now at the point where one of the things that London will do in terms of transport provision is provide a continued stream of investment in safer cycling facilities, as a way of getting people around the city.

“Boris has clearly been very closely associated with it as a commuter cyclist. It’s now getting to the point where it’s part of the transport mix that needs to be made available for a big city like London.”

In 2014 there were 645,000 cycle journey stages in London on an average day. Preliminary data for 2015 shows major injuries to cyclists between January and July 2015 were largely in line with casualties from 2014, with 229 serious injuries in six months of 2015 compared with 419 in the whole of 2014.

Meanwhile, new bike parking “superhubs” are planned by 2018/19 for Waterloo station, with parking spaces for thousands of bikes. The report estimates 8,000 bike parking spaces are required at the station by 2026. Suburban parking hubs will be completed at Hounslow West and North Greenwich by March 2016, with further hubs planned at Tottenham Hale, Abbey Wood, Barking and Romford.

On London’s first fully protected cycle route, Cycle Superhighway 5 (CS5), which was opened by Boris Johnson in November, cyclists make up 40% of traffic crossing Vauxhall Bridge at peak times, while 93% of evening peak cyclists were found to use the cycle track instead of cycling on the road.

London’s population is forecast to rise by 1.4 million people to 10 million by 2031, which will put pressure on London’s transport infrastructure.

The report outlines progress of the Mayor's £913 Cycling Vision so far. 

Of the seven initially proposed Quietways, part of the £123m Quietways programme, only one, Q1 from Waterloo to Greenwich, is near completion. TfL says two pilots have experienced programme delays “due to route realignment and resourcing levels and contractor delays in the boroughs”. Phase two will consist of 30 routes, with “three large interventions” planned, i.e. two pedestrian/cycle bridges over the North Circular (A406) in North West and East London, and a bridge over the River Darent in Bexley. These are described as “discrete high value schemes that will address severance and unlock the potential of the surrounding cycle network”.

Of 200km of potential Central London Grid routes, , identified in 2013 with a budget of £54m, 100km have been completed. Just 39 of 126 proposed schemes are now in construction or complete.

Work has started on all three of the Mini Holland schemes in Waltham Forest, Enfield and Kingston, with much of the work expected to be completed by the end of the year. Improvements to ten of the proposed 33 “Better Junctions” will have been delivered by summer 2016, including Elephant & Castle, Oval Triangle and Aldgate Gyratory. Of an earlier list of 100 junctions a review has been conducted and improvements will be made where recommendations were set out.

Also carried out were behaviour change programmes and a Safer Lorry Scheme, requiring HGVs weighing more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with side guards and mirrors to reduce road casualties. The London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) was also drawn up, though its implementation is not mandatory. 

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