A new report from Transport for London (TfL) shows that 4,695 cyclists use London’s North-South cycle superhighway (CSNS) during the morning peak – a rate of 26 per minute; while 3,608 cyclists use the East-West superhighway (CSEW) during the same period of the day – a rate of 20 per minute.
The report on the implementation of Quietways and Cycle Superhighways states that these two routes have seen a rise in cycle traffic of over 50 per cent.
BikeBiz reports that on Blackfriars Bridge on CSNS the number of cyclists has increased to 4,695 and 3,722 in the morning and evening peaks respectively, up by 55 per cent against pre-construction figures. At its busiest, cyclists comprise 70 per cent of all traffic.
On Victoria Embankment on CSEW, the number of cyclists has increased to 3,608 and 3,389 in the morning and evening peaks, up by 54 per cent against pre-construction figures. At its busiest, cyclists comprise 52 per cent of all traffic.
The report also looks at the impact of cycle superhighways on motor traffic. Journey times on the upgrade to CS2 were found to be comparable to those pre-construction, but journeys have become slightly longer in other places.
On CS5 – where a traffic lane has been removed – inbound journey times during the morning peak are approximately 20 minutes, compared to 15-20 minutes prior to work being carried out. Motor vehicle journeys take around 15 minutes during evening peak, compared to just under 15 minutes before the work.
On CSNS, southbound journey times are much as they were before construction, while northbound journey times have risen from around 5-7 minutes to around 10 minutes.
On CSEW, where there has been removal of a motor traffic lane, westbound journeys have increased by 3-5 minutes in both morning and evening peaks, while eastbound journeys have increased by 5-10 minutes in the morning peak and by 10-15 minutes in the evening peak.
The report concludes: "While reallocating road space has made journeys for motorised vehicles slower in some locations, improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists maximises the efficiency of the road network, and over the long term will result in an increase in the proportion of people using sustainable transport."
Initial findings into the road space efficiency of the two routes suggests that at peak times, the new cycling infrastructure moves an average of 46 per cent of people along the route at key congested locations, despite occupying only 30 per cent of the road space.
TfL will doubtless see this as a success, with the report explaining the reasoning behind cycle superhighways thus:
“With London’s population forecast to grow from 8.6m people to around 10m by 2030, current initiatives to limit congestion are not enough to maintain an efficient road network and ensure London’s continued success as a world city.
“TfL’s priority is to keep London moving, working and growing, and make life in London better – planning for a city with fewer cars in it and a further shift towards sustainable transport.
“The ‘Healthy Streets’ approach will be integral to the strategy to reduce traffic, and work towards a safer and more attractive city for pedestrians and cyclists by making it even easier for people to take public transport, walk or cycle.”
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