Now the sun has finally decided to appear many of us will have decided to shun the Oyster Card and cycle to work. London is a fantastic city for cyclists, even more so since the introduction of the Cycle Super Highways and the famous "Boris Bikes”. As such the number of cyclists on the Capital’s major roads has more than doubled since 2000 – up nine per cent in the year 2008-09 alone.
Top 5 areas for cycling commuters to live
The most common area for cycling commuters is Dalston
where 12% of all commuters cycle into work. Others in the top five are Stoke Newington
(9%) and Herne Hill
(8%), according to the 2011 census. These areas are all linked by virtue of being close to the centre of London, and having a large young working population. The average rent for a one bed property in these 5 areas is £238 per week. With annual Travelcards costing £1,200 (zones 1-2) and £1,400 (zones 1-3), these savvy cyclists could be saving between 8% and 15% of their rent.
We used data from the 2001 census to see where people from these top 5 cycle areas are cycling to in their daily commute, and created the map at the bottom of this article. With the exception of Dalston
, by far the most popular commuting destination is Victoria and St James
. This is to be expected as this area is the most common commuting destination of all methods of transport. Dalston residents are most likely to cycle to Haggerston, Bloomsbury or the West End.
Cycling in London is generally quite safe. While it's true that last year 16 people were killed cycling, Transport for London estimates that people make around 540,000 bike trips every day in the city. The number of cycle deaths is increasing, but this is probably inevitable due to the sharp rise in the number of people cycling.
So how can we best stay safe on two wheels? Some things are obvious, like wear a helmet and don't cycle drunk, but some are perhaps less so. For example a recent study
showed that "the biggest threat remains freight vehicles, involved in more than 4 out of 10 incidents, with over half turning left at the time of the crash." The London Cycling Campaign strongly advises cyclists never to undertake a lorry (cycle between it and the pavement) especially in front of red lights.
Cycle Superhighways are the bright blue parts of the road you may have seen around London. In 2008, the then Mayor Ken Livingstone announced 12 routes, with the aim of creating continuous routes into central London by the end of 2012. However at present only four such routes are up and running; CS3 (Barking to Tower Gateway), CS7 (Merton to the City), CS2 (Bow to Aldgate) and CS8 (Wandsworth to Westminster) are operational; the others are now scheduled to be completed by 2015. The others are:
- Tottenham to Liverpool Street (A10)
- Woolwich to Tower Bridge (A206 - A200)
- Lewisham to Victoria (A20 - A202)
- Penge to City (via Camberwell and Elephant and Castle)
- Hounslow to Hyde Park Corner
- Cricklewood to Marble Arch< (A5)
- Park Royal to Hyde Park Corner 10 (A40 - borough roads)
- East Finchley to Angel (A1 - A1000)