The latest cycling figures from London show that cycling is still increasing – up 6% year on year to April, and up 86% from 2000, according to Transport for London. In a news release Mayor Livingstone said that London had become a “cycling city” – and he is right.
So how has this been achieved?
First, Transport for London got control of the city transport network – and was able to invest in infrastructure improvements – cycling lanes, yes, but also more advanced stop lines (which cost nothing) and parking facilities.The congestion charge, which smoothed traffic flows in the city centre, probably helped.
Second, removing other barriers – through distributing cycling maps and making route finding easier online.
Third, though high profile events (Race of Britain and so on) and television advertising – even if the creative for these looked like a “capture all the benefits in 30 seconds” exercise.
But the other ingredient was advocacy by the cycling organisations – from London Cycling Campaign to Critical Mass to make cycling visible.
But the outcome has been to normalise cycling in a way which wasn’t the case before; mangers are likely to cycle to work without people finding it odd, for example.
Thanks to smasher.net for the picture, which can be found here.