'Astonishing': Cyclists now outnumber motorists in City of London

Cyclists are now the ‘single largest vehicular mode” in peak times on the streets in the City of London

A cyclist using a cycle lane in London
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cyclists are now the single largest form of transport counted during peak times on the streets in the City of London. 

According to Forbes, a detailed report has been filed to the transportation committee of the City of London Corporation, the municipal governing body of London’s square mile, which suggests at peak times, people cycling represent 40% of road traffic in the city and 27% throughout the rest of the day.

Over the last decade, the use of motor vehicles has been increasingly restricted in the financial district of London, and a 24-hour traffic count was conducted in inclement weather in November last year. Wider figures from the traffic count are available to the public in a briefing document which has been provided to councillors ahead of the governing body meeting next week.

“Long-term trends observed from count data taken from 12 sites across the City since 1999 show motor vehicle volumes continuing to decline and cycle volumes continuing to increase,” says the traffic order paper to councillors, due to be discussed on 7 March.

Walking still remains as being the preferable way for people to travel around the financial district of the capital, although the numbers of pedestrians in the City are currently well below pre-pandemic figures, with the volumes of motorists also 80% of what they previously were in 2019 before covid. 

However, cyclist numbers are at 102% of pre-pandemic levels. The number of motorists has fallen by 64% since 1999, while the number of cyclists has increased by 386%.

Apart from during the pandemic, the most significant percentage drops in motor vehicle usage were between 2007-2009 and 2014-2016, according to the briefing document. 

Reacting to news of the figures from the report on social media, Danny Williams, CEO of Active Travel England, called the huge uptick in cycling within the City “astonishing”. 

In response to Williams, Gail Ramster on Twitter praised the cycling infrastructure within the City and said: “I love the City for cycling. Safer junction designs, cycle friendly routes through roadworks and now advanced bike traffic lights. Can really sense that they want you there and you’re not forgotten.”

Do you regularly commute within the City of London? If you're on the look out for a new bike to navigate the City streets, check out our best commuter bikes guide before you hit the shops.

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