So many more people are commuting by bike in London
May 12, 2007
These past few weeks of good weather have encouraged a lot of bikes out of their winter hibernation.
You can’t help but noticed how many more squeaking chains, low saddles and under inflated tyres there are amongst these returning commuters.
I am also noticing one or two more shiny new bikes with their riders virtually glowing in crinkly new hi-viz jackets.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone announced a couple of weeks ago that the number of cycle journeys in London has increased by 6% in the year to March and are up 83% since 2000.
What makes this particularly good news is that despite the increase, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in this city has fallen by 28%.
Cycling in London is becoming safer because more people cycle.
It is as simple as that.
And the nice thing about cycling becoming safer is it encourages even more people to cycle.
London’s Evening Standard recently published a twelve point charter for safer cycling which Nic Price has detailed here.
- A real cycle network across London
- Better cycle lanes with proper segregation
- Enforcement of special advanced stop lines for cyclists
- HGVs to be fitted with special cyclist safety mirrors
- Compulsory cyclist awareness training for all bus drivers and new HGV drivers
- Make safe the Thames bridges: some of the most dangerous places for cyclists
- Cycle-friendly streets: fewer one-way systems which funnel cyclists into the middle of traffic
- More cycle parking across London
- A police crackdown on bike theft
- Campaign to urge the self employed to claim a 20p a mile cycling allowance against tax
- Better cycle-bus-rail coordination: adequate parking at all railway stations
- Cycle training for all schoolchildren and any adult who wants it
This looks like a decent list that will get more people riding but while I support it, I can’t see how the tax allowance is making cycling safer.