Transport for London (TfL) has revealed that the number of journeys made on the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighways has doubled on some stretches of the routes during rush hour.
Overall, the number of people riding on the two routes, from Merton to the City and Barking to Tower Gateway, rose by a combined 70% in October 2010 compared to a year earlier, prior to the introduction of the Cycle Superhighways.
The South West London route saw a 50% increase in cyclist numbers, while the one in East London achieved a more than two-fold increase.
The Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, Kulveer Ranger commented: “It is great to see that the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighways are well on the way to achieving our goal to increase cycling in the Capital.
“This research shows that people do believe the routes are of value, make them feel safer and are allowing them to take direct and continuous routes into central London."
Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of London Cycling Campaign (LCC), said: “LCC is delighted to hear that more Londoners are taking to two wheels because of the new Barclays Cycle Superhighways.
“Our members will continue to work with Transport for London to build on this positive result, so that we can further increase the quality of provision in the next set of routes and attract yet more Londoners to this healthy, environmentally-friendly and enjoyable way to travel.”
The Cycle Superhighways have not been without their critics, however, with drawbacks highlighted including the fact that they are too narrow and often have vehicles parked on them as well as the routes following busy main roads.
Indeed, just before Christmas, hot on the heels of a Transport for London report on travel in the capital that claimed that the two pilot Cycle Superhighways had been a success, a separate report from the Greater London Assembly recommended that lessons be drawn from those two initial routes, outlining a series of recommendations that should be incorporated into the other planned routes.
Those recommendations included:
For its part, TfL says that it has worked on improving the safety of cyclists along the routes of the two pilot Cycle Superhighways in the first six months since their launch, including:
David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, claimed: “This research clearly shows that Barclays Cycle Superhighways are meeting the objectives we set out to achieve. Work has already started on the next two Barclays Cycle Superhighways providing cyclists with direct and reliable cycle routes into London.”
Those two routes will come into operation this Summer, taking cyclists from Bow to Aldgate (CS2) and Wandsworth to Westminster (CS8), with a further eight due to follow.
He continued: “TfL is also working closely with the relevant London boroughs and a whole range of interested parties to ensure that we maximise every opportunity to improve the cycle commute for those already using these routes, and attract many more thousands of Londoners to join them.”
Deanna Oppenheimer, Vice-Chair, Global Retail Banking, CEO Western Europe and CEO UK Retail Banking at Barclays, sponsor of the Cycle Superhighways as well as the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme, added: “Increasing transport capacity is important for investment and jobs in London."
She added: "With new cyclists using Barclays Cycle Superhighways, existing cyclists increasing their time on the roads of the Capital, and the cycling business industry continuing to see investment, this is evidence of the success of the first two pilot routes.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.