New investment for cycling

2 hours ago (7:08 PM)
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peter caton

Well said Canny I know exactly how you feel because many times in the past I've nearly been run over by cyclists on the pavements and made to jump out the way, some don't even have bells to warn people,


And having them licensed and registered would stop this how?


the traffic chaos caused by the current cycle lanes is ridiculous, no mention of the tons of extra exhaust pollution from all the cars that are in permanent gridlock now, and half the cyclist don't use the lanes anyway! sick to death of the mantra that cars are the enemy and you don't recognise that a city like London does need vehicles to be able to move about to survive, emergency services, deliveries, taxi's etc, because lets face it, the public transport, when its not on strike it totally overloaded, the cycle lanes along the Thames could have been out over the edge of the river on a metal structure that would have not caused chaos, but not just cut up the roads thats fine as cars are the enemy, doesn't matter what I say, the mayor lies on his manefesto promises anyway - no rise in fares until 2020 - but lets the travel card daily cap creep up and up, what happened to the million trees the mayor was going to plant, oh yeah that won't happen now


We need LGV's and emergency vehicles. Average private car trip is 2-3 miles. Annually 9500 premature deaths due to pollution in London. Drivers at highest risk. Children suffering epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes. Current reliance on private cars unsustainable. Transition period frustrating. We are playing catchup with Northern Europe. If there were other solutions I imagine they'd be in place. 1700 deaths on the roads. 0.8 people killed by bicycles. Cycle fatalities dropping as their numbers increase. Good news.



'the traffic chaos caused by the current cycle lanes is ridiculous",

You just don't give up do you!
Try to get a grip of he facts before you waste teh space on here as you doubtless do on the road in your motor car.

I am sick to death of your kind vomiting up your "tons of extra exhaust pollution" because you are simply too lazy and/or ignorant to get a perspective. You won't give up until you're priced off of the road.
Real legislation is clearly needed for the anti-social, three-mile, single occupancy journeys you make.

"sick to death of the mantra that cars are the enemy"

Oh poor dear.
Terribly sorry but there's no escaping the fact that -
cars are the enemy / cars are the enemy / cars are the enemy...

Get over it. and get out of it. There are plenty of alternatives.

denis wilson

without cars ect paying road tax you would not have half of your cycle lanes


Please research this before you embarrass yourself on here. The roads are paid for out of general taxation. The thing that you (and most motorists) call "Road Tax" is in fact VED (Vehicle Excise Duty). The amount you pay depends on how much pollution your vehicle creates. Hence why electric cars pay no VED. Please tell your fellow motorists as they often justify their bad driving with "Road Tax". Thank you.


+I mate totally agree

Jay ginn

Dave, many of the vehicles caught up in congestion are NOT necessary. If these drivers switched to other travel modes , reducing the volume of vehicles, then the essentials -- like fire engines, ambulances, buses, new electric delivery lorries with food or plumbing supplies etc --- could move freely and efficiently. Buses would then be a fast way of getting around.

And there would be room for segregated bike lanes without causing congestion.


Should not be rolled out until benefits of existing schemes are evaluated and proven. Cycle routes have become single line of thought obsession


I think TFL have been evaluating the schemes as they've gone along. For example: "...the new cycling infrastructure moves an average of 46 per cent of people
along the route at key congested locations, despite occupying only 30 per cent of
the road space". Sounds like enough proof for me.
Full report:


During peak hours the Embankment cycle superhighway carries more people/traffic than the other 3 car lanes combined. This is what happens when an efficient transport mode has its own space!

G M Lewis

I support considerate cyclists. I do not support the speeding maniacs who shout abuse at pedestrians on footpaths. Where is the provision for pedestrian safety? Why spend so much when London is clearly so unsuitable for cycle races? Get rid of all the diesel vehicles. Return the pavements to the walkers and the roadways to the cyclists. Then it would be worth it.

Terry Vaughan

G M Lewis, if you don't want cycle tracks, what form does your support of considerate cyclists take?


+1 spot on m8!


I sort of agree. For too long now councils have been too lazy to make designated spaces for both pedestrians and cyclists and often lump them together on "shared-use" pavements. This is disastrous for both parties involved and should frankly be made illegal. Cycling and walking are two completely different things and should be treated as such by designers and highway engineers.

Ben Booth

Overall to be supported. Segregation as practised on the continent is important and would get me back to cycling in London. Also policing of parking in cycle lanes.
But as a driver I frequently see very dangerous cycling and many unlit cyclists at night. I suspect many cyclists are not drivers and have no idea of the danger they are in. I would like to see more emphasis on education and encouraging safe cycling.

John H

Welcome to the debate Ben, good point succinctly put.

And congratulations on not being called an ignorant biased killer troll in over a month.

How do you do it? ;-)

Terry Vaughan

John, Ben didn't call for training and licensing to be compulsory.


Get rid of these cycle lanes, they are causing more congestion and cost a fortune!!
The cyclist community are becoming a dangerous nuisance. And as to closing half of London for the weekend so they can have a day out -well!! I have to work on Sundays so have to drive across London and it takes me 1hr 45mins to travel 14 miles on these days!
Whilst I am commenting, I suggest you remove most of the bus lanes, they halve the road capacity CAUSING congestion. How many buses do you see with only a handful of passengers on? -loads!!
It's about time TFL considered the majority of road users -the vehicle drivers, yes the ones who pay road tax, the ones who pay incredible amounts of tax on fuel as well as the congestion charges that are imposed on those that HAVE TO drive into London to earn a living!!!!!

john ackers

Where are you driving from/to that takes 1h 45min on Sundays? Don't you think that TfL should focus on getting an ever increasing number of people to and from work to earn a living!!!! and that requires the optimum use of every rail line, every tube, every bus and every road. The most efficient use of road space is bus followed by cycle followed last by private car. Expanding the cycle network is the cheapest way of expanding TfL's network. Think you have a good point about off peak bus usage but removing busses would increase waiting time at bus stops, encourage people to drive instead etc.

John H

Why would reducing off peak buses automatically people to drive rather than cycle as an alternative?

John H

Why would reducing off peak buses automatically encourage people to drive rather than cycle as an alternative?


Majority of Londoners don't own cars. Average car journey is under 3 miles. In your plan congestion would increase as you'd push people into car ownership. With or without brexit millions of new workers will move into London in the next decade. Their cars would be in your way unless government nudges people towards more sustainable travel.


+1 well said m8 spot on Tfl wants to charge us drivers to pay for bikes !!


Goodness me sgiedzuin that's quite a rant. Let's kick around a couple of things here:

- If you're driving 14 miles at such a painfully slow speed, for goodness sake WHY torture yourself like that? Do you need to carry loads of stuff? If not, why not take a train or a bus - or possibly even cycle? Although I admit that's quite a long way to cycle, perhaps an ebike could take the strain. Or a moped.

- Bus lanes probably do cause congestion for cars but they reduce congestion overall for PEOPLE. When the roads are busy and the busses are full, there are lots more people travelling faster in the bus lane - two lanes of cars couldn't possibly carry as many.

- I think you'll find the majority of road users aren't car drivers. Cars take up most of the space, but if you add up the people on bikes and in busses there are more. And that's before you even get to the trains and tubes.

- The cost of private motoring is lower as a proportion of the average income than it has ever been. Taxes on emissions and fuel don't really cover their costs to health, let alone the cost of the roads themselves (which, by the way, are covered by all taxpayers).

I do understand the love of motoring, I'm a car nut myself, but you mustn't let that cloud your judgement when it comes to choosing a mode of transport suitable for urban travel. Please consider public transport, or a smaller vehicle which causes less pollution and congestion.

Robert Munster

Just to correct one point, car users ARE very much the majority of road users in London. The figures (excluding freight), calculated from the London Travel Demand Survey (2013/14), are:

Walk 4.67%
Cycle 2.33%
Motorbike 0.78%
Bus/tram 17.51%
Car driver 47.16%
Car passenger 25.92%
Taxi/other 1.62%

So cars account for nearly three quarters of road travel. Train accounts for about a third of travel overall, so car travel is almost exactly half the overall total. Either way, walking and cycling are insignificant in the overall scheme of things, and I confidently predict that will never change.

Whether bus lanes are efficient depends on how many buses use them and local arrangements. Some bus lanes are plain stupid, such as the one outside Catford town hall which halves the capacity of the junction, but is too short to help buses when they eventually get to it. Furthermore, it is on the left side of the road but nearly all buses at that point need to turn right so don't use the bus lane anyway!

Overall though I agree most bus lanes are good, and are usually in locations where bus passengers gain a significant benefit with only a small penalty for other road users.


@Robert Munster,
Are those figures for the Greater London area or something less than that ?

Robert Munster

Yes, Greater London, so far as I know.


At face value therefore there is a significant increase in bike travel possible.

Terry Vaughan

Robert, don't those figures depend on location and time of day? Round my way there are very few bikes. But in town, in the rush hour, at some locations, isn't the percentage of cycle and pedestrian traffic considerably higher? In fact, a very significant part of the traffic, approaching the majority, and growing?


@Robert : We need to be very careful about statistics (and all forms of alternative truth). If these come from the Travel Demand Survey, please check/confirm if there is a "short trip cutoff" - many such surveys ignore trips of less than 1km or 5 mins., for example, which can mislead. Also, are these the number of users (i.e. vehicles) or passengers, or are they weighted by number of passengers and distance (or time) travelled? Also, if that's not enough, are they based on travel in London, or travel by London residents in London? It is a minefield!

For all my caveats, I find the results you quote amazing - one reason I'd like the assumptions behind them to be clearly stated.

Robert Munster

@Terry: Yes, I am sure you are right. Whether this is relevant depends on what you are considering. The LTDS does have separate figures for inner and outer London residents. I hadn't previously looked at these, but have calculated the figures:

Total - Inner - Outer
Rail - 32.0% - 41.9% - 26.9%
Bus/tram - 11.9% - 15.1% - 10.2%
Car - 49.7% - 33.1% - 58.2%
Motorcycle - 0.5% - 0.4% - 0.6%
Cycle - 1.6% - 2.9% - 0.9%
Walk - 3.2% - 4.9% - 2.3%
Taxi/other - 1.1% - 1.7% - 0.8%

Do bear in mind that Inner London residents are likely to travel predominantly within Inner London, whereas Outer London residents (and non-London residents) are very likely to travel into Inner London, mainly by rail or to a lesser degree car. This means that the significance of car and rail within inner London is probably higher than implied by the figures for Inner London residents.

Either way, it is clear that walking and cycling are not major modes of transport within inner London as well as London as a whole.

As to times of day, again, it does appear that much cycling is concentrated in peak times. So is rail travel and, to a lesser extent, bus travel (although bus service frequencies do not reflect this). Car travel appears to be much more uniform across the day.

@steve899: Yes, I am well aware of the pitfalls of statistics! Indeed, I originally calculated these figures because 'official' analysis is invariably based on trip numbers, which is misleading as it over-inflates the figures for walking and cycling, which are dominated by short trips which are not very important in the big picture. Modal share weighted by distance is what you need to know for virtually all practical applications.

Short trip cutoff - never heard of that one and I can find no suggestion that any such thing applies to the LTDS. A 1km cutoff would remove the vast majority of walking trips, so I think it is safe to say there isn't one here!

The LTDS is based on what each individual does, so it is effectively the number of passengers rather than vehicles. Most of the data, and their report, is based on trip counts without any weighting, which makes it pretty useless, but they do give travel distance and time figures - I use the distance figures as mentioned above.

The Survey definitely only covers London residents. I am not sure whether it includes any travel outside London.

Unfortunatley TfL do not seem to have published the details of how the LTDS stats are arrived at. There are a number of caveats I am aware of:
- The survey only covers London residents. Trips by non-London residents are thus excluded. These would, most probably, be largely by car or rail.
- It is unclear whether the entirety of cross-border journeys and journeys wholly outside London are included, or only the London section. Ideally it should be the latter, but if not, any distortion is likely to roughly balance the previous point. This affects a relatively small number of journeys, but some of them will be very long journeys which would distort the results.
- It is unclear how multi-modal journeys are split, if at all. I believe they have been split correctly, but cannot confirm this.
- It is of course a survey based on a relatively small sample, so cannot possibly cover every single type of journey that is made in London. We can only assume that the sampling methodology is fit for purpose.
- It is unclear whether the survey covers business travel - which could include things like the plumber driving his van or even a bus driver driving a bus.

I have ignored these points - not that I have any choice! - but do not expect that they would make a significant difference to the overall findings. As noted, the first two probably roughly cancel out. If we really want to do this seriously, I expect we could get more details from the team behind LTDS - there is a contact email address on the TfL website.

@AlanMoore: Travel time is also covered by the LTDS. The figures are a bit different from yours, but not massively. Of course, cars and trains are faster than other modes, so the figures appear lower if you look at this. Conversely walking is much slower so appears much more significant when looking at time taken. That is why if you look at a typical road you will see a lot of pedestrians at any time, but because they are making such slow progress many more people will actually pass by in cars and buses.

As a point of interest, average speeds can also be calculated (in km/h):
National Rail - 18.9
Underground/DLR - 11.4
Bus/tram - 7.0
Taxi/ Other - 10.5
Car driver - 18.7
Car passenger - 20.4
Motorcycle - 19.5
Cycle - 8.8
Walk - 2.9
All - 12.8
All except rail - 12.00
The figures all seem a bit on the low side to me, so the time may include aspects of the journey such as waiting for buses.

Terry Vaughan

" it is clear that walking and cycling are not major modes of transport within inner London as well as London as a whole."

Robert, that is your interpretation. But clearly there are times and places now where cycling and walking are a very major part of the traffic. The new cycle tracks are increasing the numbers. Tracks in the suburbs will at the least enable more people to cycle, and are likely to make cycling more prevalent, including during the day. The extent remains to be seen.


Wow! And actually that is borne out by a completely separate data source. I work in survey research and although I can't legally give you my exact data, for Greater London I get roughly 40% of travel time spent in cars, about 2% bicycles, 20% walking, 20% tube and train, 10% busses. I am a bit surprised by that tbh (although cars still only half of people on road).

My observations are clearly very skewed by mostly being inside the Congestion Charge zone: if I limit my sample to people who live in fairly central London I get more like 15% of time in cars, 3% bicycles, 35% walking, 25% trains and tubes, 10% busses. That's of people who LIVE in the area - clearly there are more than 15% in cars but on the whole those aren't people commuting from Camden!

Which goes to show actually.. central London is awash with cars but they belong to people from the outer boroughs and outside London. I do wish they'd go away.


"I do wish they'd go away" - the cars that is, not the people! :-)


Cyclists need to be licensed. They are a hazard to the walking public who are increasingly sidelined and unable to get "across".
There is a suggestion that all traffic gives way to cyclists on the left. This is insane and will mean that cyclists have free reins to overtake on the inside. It will clog traffic turning left as it will have to wait for cyclists who are in effect behind them on the left. Chaos.

Terry Vaughan

Mkorda, are you suggesting that drivers shouldn't have to wait until the way is clear before they turn? Often they don't, of course, which causes many accidents.


Try the Clapham High Road. Never ending stream of lycra boys whizzing along often outside the cycle lane as they pass eachother makes for honking, hooting, anger, problems for pedestrians. Left turning there can be tricky for vehicles waiting for the non-stop stream to break. Some better cycle controls are required with this many speedy pedallers.
Some 20s plenty zones with cyclists travelling over the 20 limit going faster than vehicles. Is this permitted? Controls for cyclists with regard to speed applicable?
Cyclists often on pavements next to pedestrians and in public parks on walkways, using them to make 'shortcuts'. Is this permitted for cyclists?
Problems with dogs in quiet streets - dogs distanced from owners by leads and sudden cyclists silently rounding corners in quiet areas used as cycle routes yelling to "get out the way this is a road".
Nice to have better urban road design, but please prioritize pedestrians who are using public transport or just walking to their destination.
Car taxes and fines is a lot of money that should firstly be used to fix all bad road surfaces/potholes. There are many in my area that need attention and have been bad for years.

Terry Vaughan

Mkorda, it sounds as there is too much bike traffic for that lane. Aren't you glad all those people aren't in cars? As traffic increases it may become necessary to redesign the road layout to make it easier and safer to use. Elsewhere, it's commonplace for a driver to turn across the path of a bike even when there is no other bike in sight.

Legally, the speed limit doesn't apply to bikes, because they are nowhere near as dangerous as motor vehicles. You know that just about every driver on a 20 mph road exceeds the speed limit, don't you? But I tend to agree that bikes should keep to the limit. The trouble is that bike riders are safer if they keep up with the motor traffic.

Pavement cycling is only legal if has been made so by the authority, which is often done, without significant problems. In most places, even a five year old is supposed to ride on the road with the lorries. If there were proper cycle tracks they wouldn't have to break the law.

I'm not sure what your point is about the dogs - should bikes make more noise? Should dog walkers keep their animals under better control?

Pedestrians are prioritised. They have pavements almost everywhere, bike riders have next to nothing. Neither are considered as important as motorists, of course. These plans are intended to redress the balance a little and will help get bikes out of the way of both pedestrians and drivers, so why don't you support them?

John H

Surely excessive speed by any vehicle, including cycles going over 20mph in a 20 zone, represents an increased risk in the event of a collision, and makes a collision more likely?

As we know, the greater the speed the greater the distance travelled in terms of reacting and braking when the unexpected happens.

There have been improvements made in cycle braking (disc brakes) but are there similar "stopping distance" figures for bikes as there are for cars in the Highway Code, and if so, without a Test, how aware are cyclists of these figures?

Terry Vaughan

John, it makes collisions more dangerous. It doesn't necessarily make a collision more likely for people cycling. If a bike keeps up with motor vehicles, which will normally be over the limit unless congestion prevents it, there will be fewer dangerous overtakes by careless drivers. But there is always a chance of the unexpected, so I don't argue that people should exceed the limit on bikes, and certainly not when driving.

Most people who are able and willing to cycle that fast are going to be experienced riders and well aware of the stopping distance of their bikes. I'm not aware of published figures, but they would be more dependent on conditions than they are for motor vehicles.

Compulsory tests for bike riders would not be beneficial.


+1 m8 well said we need a petition !!

peter caton

Well said mkorda I agree and should be made to take a proficiency test before riding in London like other road users


Spending £154 million PER YEAR seems, quite frankly, like a colossal waste of money. How many additional bicycle journeys must be taken to make such spending 'worthwhile'? If, as I suspect, you don't even know the answer to that question, then you certainly shouldn't be spending the money!

I don't believe it will significantly increase bicycle usage - nor do I believe it may do much to reduce the tragic deaths seen every year in London by cyclists being hit, run over, or having accidents due to bad weather or bad roads.

Having wasted £3,000 per speed bump, only now to be told by the Health Department that it causes pollution which is killing us all slowly (or not so slowly in some cases), why not spend the money ripping them all up as recommended by the health authorities. (If there's any money left over after that, use them to put up 'Slow' signs instead.

And no, London is a death-trap for cyclists, so you won't be seeing me cycling on the roads!


Currently only 3% of journeys are made by bike. 30-40% in peak hours. If everyone stopped cycling public transport and congestion would crash. Santander hire bikes are surprisingly the safest overground transportation in London. Only 2 fatalities since inception. There are many preconditions about cycling. Government policy is to increase cycling to 10%. Then I believe taxation and licensing may be appropriate.

peter caton

Your so right Henry but this seems the case in so many government departments people making decisions on things they know nothing about except for the advice of so called advisors and technocrats.


Where will everyone park? Every cycle journey ends in a 'park', yet there's very few new additional spaces being provided. Looking at 8 of London's terminus stations, only 0.5% of arriving passengers could park a bike there. Parking in central London tends to be for the elite as it's only brand new buildings that have sufficient parking. Where is everyone else meant to park securely and avoid adding to 70,000 annual thefts in London?


Good point. And it's not just stations that suffer this problem. It's really hard to find places to park bikes in central London when it gets a bit busy.


So more disruption for transport just to allow cyclists more roadway. Walking is the healthiest option, and pedestrians already have footpaths.


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