Transport for London (TfL) has revealed the number of people cycling in the capital doubled during the pandemic, with the number of trips walked increasing from 21% of all journeys to 30% in 2020.
Publishing its latest edition of the Travel in London report, TfL said its data outlines the vital role played by walking and cycling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Using data gathered from travel surveys TfL calculate the number of trips made on each mode of transport in London.
It found while the total number of trips made in 2020 decreased as a result of the pandemic, the number of journeys cycled increased by 6.4%. TfL described this as a remarkable change in the context of lower general activity and reductions to workplace commuting.
This meant that over the year, the proportion of journeys cycled accounted for 3.4% of all journeys, up from 2.3% in 2019 – a 48% increase in the proportion of journeys made by bike.
During the pandemic, cycling mode shares for London residents fluctuated, reflecting seasonality, but were still on average around twice as high (5.3%) as they were before the pandemic (2.7% in 2019/20).
Furthermore, growth in cycling during 2020 was particularly strong in outer London, rising by 24.4%. TfL added it has worked closely with boroughs across London, including those in outer London, to ensure that infrastructure is in place to support these increases.
Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, said: “The coronavirus pandemic had a dramatic impact on travel, as people followed government advice to stay at home and avoid public transport.
“Walking and cycling have played a vital role in allowing people to travel and it’s very encouraging to see this new data, which shows such significant increases in the proportion 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 will be doing all we can to support people to walk, cycle and use public transport as the capital recovers from the pandemic and customers continue to return to our network.”
Additionally, the report looked to highlight that public transport usage is growing as covid restrictions ease. It provided figures for bus and Tube use, up to November 2021.
Compared to before the pandemic, the Tube network on weekdays has recently seen more than 60% of journeys, but this has reached as high as 80% at weekends. While ridership on buses was regularly at 75% of pre-pandemic levels.