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Bicycles outnumber cars on Thames bridges

London SE1 website team

Transport for London has released new figures showing how cyclists make up a large proportion of all traffic at key river crossings and junctions.

TfL's new Central London Cycling Census shows that in the morning peak (7am-10am), up to 64 per cent of vehicles on some main roads are now bicycles.

Cycles make up almost half of all northbound traffic crossing Waterloo Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge.

62 per cent of all northbound traffic crossing Southwark Bridge – which carries Cycle Superhighway 7 – in the morning peak is cyclists.

They are the largest single type of vehicle on each of these bridges, outnumbering cars in each case.

Across the whole day (6am-8pm) 9,245 bicycles crossed London Bridge, the highest-volume all-day route counted, averaging 660 bicycles an hour or 11 a minute (in both directions).

On the highest-volume morning peak route, Elephant & Castle roundabout, 2,710 bikes passed in the northbound direction, an average of 903 an hour or 15 a minute in just this one direction. The figure excludes bikes using the cycle bypasses around Elephant & Castle, so the total number of bikes through this area is even greater.

In total, the TfL survey found 24 per cent of all vehicles at sites counted in central London during the morning rush hour are bicycles and make up 16 per cent of traffic across the entire day (from 6am to 8pm).

The survey was conducted at 164 locations in central London over a two-week period during April. Bikes and all motor vehicles were counted between 6am and 8pm on weekdays.

"These extraordinary figures show how enormous cycling already is in London and how urgent the task of catering for it properly has become," said Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor's cycling commissioner for London.

"The simple numbers explain why the Mayor is investing 913 million in a broad range of measures to support cycling, including the longest substantially-segregated urban cycleway in Europe.

"Cycling has often in the past been treated as niche or marginal. These figures show why the Mayor has stated that can no longer be the case, and that cycling must be treated as a core part of the transport network.

"They show why the commissioner for transport, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, has committed to funding the cycling infrastructure programme as one of TfL's highest priorities."

Ben Plowden, director of surface planning at TfL, said "Cycling is a great way to see the city and this new survey shows just how popular it is becoming in central London.

"By working with boroughs and local businesses across London, we remain committed to deliver the Mayor's cycling vision and cement London's place as a leading cycling city."

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