By Carlton Reid
Cyclists are now the “single largest vehicular mode counted during peak times on City streets,” says a report to the transportation committee of the City of London Corporation, the municipal governing body of London’s square mile.
The traffic count figures are in a briefing document provided to councilors for a committee meeting next Tuesday.
At peak times, people cycling represent 40% of road traffic in the City and 27% throughout the day.
Over the last decade, the use of motor vehicles has been increasingly restricted in the financial heart of the U.K. The 24-hour traffic count was conducted on a wet and windy November day last year.
Walking remains the main way people travel on the City’s streets, says the report to councilors. However, the number of pedestrians is currently below pre-pandemic figures, with the volumes of motor vehicles also 80% of what they were in 2019.
However, cyclist numbers are at 102% of pre-pandemic levels. The number of motorists has fallen by 64% since 1999, while the number of cyclists has increased by 386%.
“Long-term trends observed from count data taken from 12 sites across the City since 1999 show motor vehicle volumes continuing to decline and cycle volumes continuing to increase,” says the traffic order paper to councilors, due to be discussed on 7 March.
The online publication of the materials was spotted by Twitter user @lastnotlost.
Apart from during the pandemic, the most significant percentage drops in motor vehicle use were between 2007-2009 and 2014-16, reveals the briefing document.
Danny Williams, the CEO of arms-reach government body Active Travel England, said the considerable uptick in cycling levels in the City of London was “quite astonishing.”
Carlton Reid is a senior contributor to Forbes, and he has been writing about transport for 30 years.
This article was published on March 1, 2023 at forbes.com.