And London bike shops are happy too - sales of folding bikes have picked up and there are an increased number of bikes in for servicing year on year.

Cyclists give thumbs up to congestion charges

Cyclists are reporting that this morning’s introduction of congestion charging in central London has led to lower traffic levels and that there seemed to be more cyclists out there.

Janet Paske, a market researcher, said:

"This has been the best day in London cycle commuting history. [I had] a wonderful journey [this morning], it was like cycling on a busy Sunday. I urge all commuters with bikes to try out cycling to work now that significantly fewer cars are on the road."

Jamie Wallace, a sustainablity adviser, said:

"Fantastic. Noticeable improvement in air quality. Much quieter. Much safer. Much more civilised. Why didn’t we do this years ago?"

Jason Bryan, a presentation planner, said:

"I thoroughly enjoyed cycling to work through Westminster this morning. There was, without doubt, a lot less traffic within the Congestion Charging Zone which made the whole experience of cycling more pleasurable. I felt safer and there even seemed to be less pollution."

The London Cycling Campaign has said the congestion charge has led to an increase in

calls and an increase in hits on the LCC website at

LCC is offering people who want to try cycling special free route maps (London Cycle Guides – produced in conjunction with Transport for London), contacts for cycle training and advice on urban cycling.

LCC Redbridge is offering bike buddies for novice urban cyclists. Contact

LCC Tower Hamlets runs a "bicycle bus" from Mile End Station, Alix Stredwick, tel: 07903 606 330.

Evans Cycles, Bikefix, and Cycle Surgery are all reporting increased sales of folding bikes and there are more bikes in for servicing than would be expected in February.

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