TfL has published data from its annual Travel in London report, showing there has been a continued boom in walking and cycling.
The report shows that levels of cycling continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with cycling in autumn 2022 40% higher than in 2019. Cycling on weekdays this autumn has also typically been around 20-25% higher than pre-pandemic levels, despite less commuting, and around 90% higher at weekends.
Since the start of the pandemic and despite significant financial constraints, TfL said it has worked closely with boroughs across the capital to invest in and expand London’s network of cycleways. The proportion of people living within 400 metres of a high-quality cycle route is now almost double what it was in 2019, with 22% of Londoners now living near one, compared to 12% in 2019.
London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, said: “It’s great to see that the boom in walking and cycling we saw during the pandemic has continued as more Londoners enjoy using sustainable ways to get around the capital.
“We must continue to make active travel around the city as accessible and safe as possible. That’s why I’m delighted that this year we’ve seen the introduction of e-bikes to the Santander Cycles scheme, we’ve built hundreds of kilometres of new or upgraded cycle routes since the pandemic and completed work to make some of the capital’s most dangerous and intimidating junctions safer.
“The Mayor’s bold decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission zone London-wide will also see new support put in place to help people switch to greener options such as public transport, bikes, e-bikes or car clubs.
“The Mayor and I are determined to continue building a cleaner, greener and more prosperous London for everyone and investing in and encouraging use of sustainable transport options is a vital part of that.”
Santander Cycles, which saw record levels of hires during the pandemic, continues to see record hire numbers, with hires at 11% higher than the pre-pandemic level as of late September 2022.
Alex Williams, chief customer and strategy officer, said: “Walking and cycling are absolutely essential to a more sustainable future for London so it’s very encouraging to see this new data, which shows that there continues to be significant increases in the number of journeys cycled or on foot.
“We’re determined to ensure that the way people travel in London is as healthy and sustainable as possible and continuing to encourage people back onto public transport is also a key part of this. We’ll continue to work closely with boroughs to transform our roads and invest in our transport network, enabling even more people to shift their journeys to walking, cycling and public transport.”
James Cleeton, Sustrans London director, said: “It is hugely encouraging that cycling in London is up 40%, and walking up 11%, compared to pre-pandemic levels. The numbers show that investing in infrastructure like cycle lanes, reduced speed limits, ambitious low-traffic neighbourhoods, crossings, pavements and junctions, and community initiatives such as cycle hubs, has direct impact on communities and changes the way we travel.
“But we need to go further. People who have a physically active lifestyle have a 20-35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke compared to those who have a sedentary lifestyle.
“With 38% of adults and 66% of children in London not having the recommended amounts of physical activity, it’s clear that we still have a lot of work to do to create a city where everyone can lead healthy and active lives by choosing to walk, wheel or cycle their everyday journeys.”