London Car Traffic Halved over the Course of the Last 15 Years, Bicycles Trebled

Bicycles for hire in London 1 photo
Photo: Wikipedia
Transport for London, a local government body, has issued a long and very well documented study of everything related to transport and London over the past few years, focusing in particular on 2014. What it found out is interesting, to say the least.
Like all major cities in the western world, London has experienced a population boom, but not the sort that had midwives working extra hours: no, these highly developed metropolises grow because of the constant number of people moving in to take advantage of the available jobs or to start their own new businesses.

For a city with urban planning dating as far back as hundreds of years ago in some places, this terrible influx of people means that traffic bottlenecks were bound to happen. And, indeed, people complain about the horrendously crowded streets of the city during rush hours.

But looking through the statistics provided by the Transport for London analysis, you wouldn’t believe it. If people have trouble now navigating through the city, how in the world could they even move fifteen years ago, when there were more than twice as many cars on the roads? The answer is out there.

At the same time, people have started to realize that, apart from public transportation, cycling is also a viable solution. It can’t be easy to advocate commuting on a bicycle in a country renowned for its wet weather, but it would appear that the Brits have taken out their raincoats and started pedaling. Over the same course of time when the cars lost half their might, the number of constant cyclers has increased three-fold. From the mere 12,000 cyclists zipping through London’s streets in 2000, there were 36,000 in 2014, and their number can only go up.

Back in 2013, six cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in just two weeks, something that prompted the cycling community to protest against the lack of specific infrastructure. However, as the numbers show, even such a bleak event wasn’t enough to curb the Londoners’ desire to experience the city on two motor-free wheels. Or simply to avoid congestions.

With cars dropping from 137,000 in 2000 to 64,000 in 2014 and bikes rising to 36,000, it is expected that the number of bikes might even surpass that of the cars in the next few years. Come 2020, you might think you ended up in Amsterdam by mistake when you travel to London.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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