London’s bicycle infrastructure has gone through great changes in the past years. First with the development of cycle superhighways and bicycle paths marked with blue paint. Afterwards, when users claimed for more safety, protected cycle lanes were constructed. These initiatives helped to change London’s bicycle scenario.
According to The Guardian, London has achieved incredible results in the past decade. Today there are 610,000 bicycle trips per day in London, which is more than double the journeys undertaken in the early 2000s. In the same period in the entire UK, the daily bike trips increased only 1% to 2%.
And the future looks bright. In central London, there were 11 cars for every bike in 2000 and this proportion changed to two cars for every bicycle in 2014. If the trend continues, in 2019 there will be more people cycling than driving in central London, as you can see in the infographic below.
Besides better bike infrastructure, there are other pieces to this puzzle. Congestion charging contributed to the cycling uptake, making it less convenient to drive in the central area and encouraging the use of alternative mode shares. In addition, some politicians increased their support to cycling initiatives promoting its general benefits; less CO2 emissions, less traffic congestions and the improvement of public health through more exercise.
As we have said in our blog previously, to encourage bicycle usage it is essential to have a safe infrastructure and comprehensive network making it more convenient to ride a bike than to drive. As important are the political will and support to overcome the objections of a society traditionally dependent on cars.
Image Source: Patrick Mackie and The City of London