Washington to create first EV charging corridor on a scenic byway
Honda revises and expands Green Purchasing Guidelines; broader scope applied to all suppliers worldwide

Cycling along London’s Barclays Cycle Superhighways showing significant increase

The Barclays Cycle Superhighways are 12 radial routes aimed at making it safer and easier to commute by bike between outer and inner London on direct and continuous cycle routes. Source: TfL. Click to enlarge.

New figures show that the number of cyclists along the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighway routes in London, which run from Merton to the City and Barking to Tower Gateway (earlier post), has risen by 70% with increases of 100% or more seen on some sections during peak hours.

Transport for London (TfL) compared figures for cyclists using the two pilot Barclays Cycle Superhighways on the A24 and A13 during October 2010 and compared them to the same roads in 2009. It found a 50% increase in the total number of cyclists using the A24 and on the A13 cyclist numbers more than doubled for the same period. When looking at the total number of cyclists using both routes in October 2009 compared with October 2010, the number rose by 70%.

TfL research that was carried out just one month after the launch of the scheme with people who live near and travel on the pilot routes, found that 34% of non-cyclists surveyed had begun to cycle on the Barclays Cycle Superhighways following their launch.

Wider benefits have shown that more than four in 10 cyclists along the routes have increased the amount they cycle elsewhere in London as a result of Barclays Cycle Superhighways and around three in ten have purchased a bike or cycling equipment.

TfL has installed 39 new safety mirrors at junctions along the pilot routes to help improve visibility for cyclists and other road users. The majority of goods drivers surveyed said they would change the way they used junctions fitted with roadside safety mirrors, and 60% of cyclists said the blue coloured surfacing made them feel safer.

Overall, more than three quarters asked said that the Barclays Cycle Superhighways had improved safety for cyclists.

On average the time spent travelling on Barclays Cycle Superhighways (per journey) is around 21 minutes for the Merton to City route and 17 minutes along the Barking to Tower Gateway route.

Around 80% of journeys made along both routes are cyclists commuting to and from work, and those who had switched to cycling from another mode stated that the main reasons for doing so were to improve fitness, save money and because the journey is more pleasant.

Barclays Cycle Superhighways give cyclists clearly marked, direct and continuous cycle routes into central London and are a key part of the Mayor’s commitment to stimulating a cycling revolution in the Capital.

Since launching the routes just six months ago the following have been achieved:

  • 40 kilometers (25 miles) of new or improved cycle lanes;
  • 94 new or improved Advance Stop Lines (ASLs) at least five metres deep;
  • 46 signalized junctions improved to provide quicker journey times and create more space for cyclists;
  • 39 safety mirrors installed at junctions along the pilot routes;
  • 2,372 new cycle parking spaces installed to date in partnership with boroughs and local businesses; and
  • 1,362 extra cycle training hours delivered.

The next two Barclays Cycle Superhighways routes will run from Bow to Aldgate (CS2) and Wandsworth to Westminster (CS8) and will launch in summer 2011.

Research has been carried out with people in the target market for the two pilot Barclays Cycle Superhighways, defined as those residents within 1.5km of either route and who travel (by any mode) along the corridor for at least 1km. Respondents were surveyed before and after the introduction of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways in order to understand usage and responses to the Superhighways and, for those who had cycled along the Barclays Cycle Superhighways, their experiences of using the routes. The survey was carried out online and by telephone in early summer and autumn 2010.

A total of 904 respondents took part in wave one of the survey and 506 in wave two Research has also been carried out with people cycling on the two Barclays Cycle Superhighways. A survey was conducted online in early autumn 2010 with cyclists recruited at the roadside while making a trip on one of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways. In total, 501 cyclists took part in the survey, which explored travel behaviour, attitudes and experiences of using the routes.

The Mayor and TfL are investing a record £116 million (US$183 million) in cycling in 2010/11 with the money spent on Barclays Cycle Superhighways, Barclays Cycle Hire, infrastructure, training, promotion and education.



It makes sense to promote cycling in England (and London in particular). The weather is generally good, and distances are not too long.
They should get the money from the Health budget as this is one of the main benefits of cycling from a national perspective.
The only problem with cycling is how to get around when the weather is really bad - if there is a bus or Tube you can take, you are OK.
I cycle 13km to work each day (in Dublin) and it is generally very good - you need to have a shower in work after 6-8km cycling.
It might not be so good in Mumbai (too hot) or Fairbanks (too cold), but most of western Europe is ideal for cycling.
I have seen people cycling in Finland in the middle of winter, so it can be done (but the Finns are a hardy bunch).


I am certainly glad that there are more options, but I think we need to see the real news aspect of this:
what type of space was displaced for this?
how many cyclists are using these routes in hard numbers (percentages are near meaningless - 100% improvement on almost nothing is still almost nothing)?
How much is the total cost?
How has the construction of these routes reduced other property/ routes/ infrastructure?

Thomas Pedersen

Hats off to London for making the effort to cram in dedicated cycle lanes into an already dense and congested traffic scene. I would have to say that without dedicated cycle lanes (even if they are just blue paint on the ground) you would have had to be a suicide candidate to travel daily by bike in London traffic.

In Denmark where I live, cyclists are blessed with cycle lanes with a raised curb (on level with the side walk) in city centers and clearly marked cycle lanes in all other streets with a lot of traffic. But more importantly, we are blessed with motorists that are used to cyclists and therefore look out for them.

London, like Copenhagen, is quite flat and dense and therefore well suited to cycling. But as mahonj said, if you have any testosterone left in your blood, you are likely to turn up sweaty for work. So a shower, or at the very least a fresh Tshirt is required for distances of more than 3-4 miles. But actually, in most cases, clean people with clean clothes do not smell badly. They will smell if/when they sweat again later that day though. I used to ride 3.5 miles by bike to school, full sprint (10 minutes) and never had any problems with BO. Just never wear a Tshirt that you have worn the day before, because then you will smell!

I supposed the main argument against cycling in London, on a personal level, is the strict dress code in many businesses. I wish a safe and pleasant ride to those that do it anyway!


Looking at a very nice bicycle just yesterday doing the sums.
Need to remove ~2kilo and excersise 20K-day.

SH canondale @ $600 / 365 days / (2-4)Kilo = ~ $2 a day / say 4000 grams = say 12 g per day or ~ ~ $ per 10 grams.

Bargain! Plenty of shopping malls, busy roads bush tracks and boulevardes to cruise, so The cycleway is a bit lower down the list for me but I always like to see consideration shown towards our youth (who cant vote)!


Without seeing these 'lanes' I'm a bit cynical as to how they do work. Usual practice in the UK simply involves paint and applying (in London's case) some blue thermoplastic. Because it is usual practice to mark a dashed (not solid) line on the edge of the road the space provided is 'advisory' only for other users to avoid. So this means that other road users can edge into that lane, say to pass a right turning vehicle or even to unload or park!! (providing there are no parking restrictions)

Outside London this kind of practice has also involved removing vehicle roadspace on multi-laned highways to put in a cycle lane and parking spaces. Ironically this happens outside buildings that have adequate off-street parking, which face streets that have already has adequate space for providing a separate cycle lane. Not surprisingly people assert these types of measures as deliberately engineering in congestion and creating dead road space that becomes filled with grim and debris.

Its also typical that cycle lanes fail to be provided where they are needed most - at engineered pinch-points in the road and on narrow streets where conflict between vehicles and cyclists do happen. So cycling investment has had a perverse effect on providing facilities where they aren't really needed and failing to provide them where there are real issues.

I hope in London the case is different with its [Barclays] Bank cycle lanes .


Cycling is therapeutic and may relieve stress. Riding bicycles is proven to be a therapeutic activity and more and more people are taking up cycling for a serene, more peaceful type of exercise.When you cycling with cycling jerseyswill be more comfortable.

The comments to this entry are closed.