n urban areas, commuting in a car doesn’t make much sense. When a majority of the population tries to move back and forth between the residential areas and the work areas, all at the same time, every day, there’s got to be a better way to do that than 1 person per vehicle… That’s why we’re always happy to see the numbers go up for public transportation and cycling.
A new census in the U.K. is revealing that London is doing really well in that regard. Statistics compiled and analyzed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the decade between 2001 and 2011 puts the capital well ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to bike commuting progress.
Office for National Statistics/Public Domain
As you can see in the graph above, the number of cyclist commuters slightly more than doubled in that decade (and is probably even higher now, 4 years later — but we’ll have to wait for the next census to have the numbers), and the rest of the country also is doing well: «Nationwide the number of commuters getting to work by bike has grown by nearly 100,000, increasing by 14 per cent to 741,000. In London some 155,000 now ride to work, up from 77,000 in 2001, meaning around 20 per cent of the UK’s cycling commuters are Londoners.»
But there’s still much room left for improvement, as these numbers are still just 1 in 35 workers.
Cyclists get most of the benefits from bike commuting – improved health, reduced stress – but everyone also benefits from reduced pollution and less congested roads. London, and all other cities, should definitely keep improving their bicycle infrastructure and make sure that the rules of the road are welcoming to all – not just motorists – and enforced.