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What’s not to like about a bike?

26th June 2013

What’s not to like about a bike?

When we think about travel around London what inevitably comes to mind is the London Underground and the hectic rush-hour commute. However, a recent study has highlighted how many Londoners are choosing to travel above ground, yet still avoiding much of the travel chaos – by travelling on a bike. 

When the figures of commuter travel were examined, it was found that almost a quarter of the morning rush hour traffic (between 7am and 10am) in central London was made up of cyclists. In fact, the percentage didn’t drop drastically when the figures were taken across the entire day: 16% of traffic was in the form of cyclists between 6am and 8pm, indicating that not only commuters, but also possibly students, tourists, shift-workers and locals traverse the city by bike. 

In some areas cyclists well outnumbered the rest of the vehicles on the roads. Take, for example, the northbound traffic across Southwark Bridge, on which in the morning rush hour 62% of traffic was comprised of cyclists, while northbound on the Waterloo, Blackfriars and London Bridges at the morning peak time cyclists constituted almost half of traffic.

Calculations were made as to the impact cyclists would have on the roads in comparison to cars. Although rather an obvious conclusion, it’s easy to see that based on the size of a bike, many more of those than cars can travel the on same stretch of road. If every car was at capacity, perhaps the comparison would be less useful, but very few cars in central London will be travelling with five or more travellers. 

One area which saw a huge number of cyclists was the Elephant & Castle roundabout, which at the morning peak time saw 2710 (or 15 per minute) bikes pass by – and this was only in the northbound direction and without taking into account the Cycle Superhighway bike bypass around Elephant & Castle. 

Rhodri Mason, of Morgan Pryce, comments, “Cycling is clearly becoming – or has become – one of the real alternative ways of getting around London. We would now expect the Mayor of London to address how this can be made easier and safer for those using bikes. Businesses must also consider what they can offer their workers in order to accommodate this means of travel to and from work. It is not as easy in central London to provide parking and safe storage for bikes, as it might be in less built-up or more regional areas. Therefore it might be up to the local government to address this.”

The above figures were found by the Central London Cycling Census which was conducted over two weeks during April at 164 locations. It was acknowledged that in bad weather not so many cyclists might be seen!

Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.


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