London

Number of cyclists in London reaches record high

Cyclists negotiate rush hour traffic in central London near Waterloo Station Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption TfL said the total number of cycling journeys rose by 5% to 610,000 a day

More people are cycling in London than ever before, new figures from Transport for London (TfL) have shown.

The statistics also said 432 cyclists were seriously injured or killed on the roads in 2014 - the lowest level since records began.

The total number of cycling journeys rose by 5% to 610,000 a day - 23 million a year, TfL said.

Boris Johnson welcomed the figures, but campaigners said the number of fatalities was "unacceptably high".

The mayor of London said: "These figures are tremendously encouraging and will, I hope, give even more people the confidence to get on their bikes.

"Operation Safeway, which we made permanent feature last year, has already helped improve driver and cyclist behaviour. But we need to do more.

"The cyclist population explosion in London shows why we need all this and why we need to go still further."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thirteen cyclists were killed on London's roads in 2014, and 14 were killed in 2013 and 2012 respectively

Cycling on TfL main roads rose by 11% last year and surveys suggested most people using them were cycling at least once a week.

One journey in every 515,000 now ends in death or serious injury, which is lower than the previous lowest rate in 2006 when one journey in every 434,000 led to a death or serious injury.

TfL said 2014 was the safest year on record. Thirteen cyclists were killed on London's roads last year, and 14 died in 2013.

The charity London Cycling Campaign (LCC) urged bosses to put in place "desperately needed" infrastructure to reduce the danger for the growing number of cyclists.

Rosie Downes, campaigns manager at the LCC, said: "It is heartening that the number of people killed or seriously injured while cycling has fallen, but the figures are still unacceptably high.

"The growth in cycling is welcome, and highlights the urgent need for London's streets to offer safe space for cycling for all."

Image copyright Getty Images

The Mayor of London's 2013 Vision for Cycling programme has invested £913m into four segregated superhighways and a Quietway network of back-street cycle routes, which are currently being built.

Last year Met Police officers issued were also sent to 166 key junctions during rush-hour periods as part of Operation Safeway, in a bid to improve safety on the capital's roads.

More than 13,800 fines were issued to drivers and cyclists as part of the crackdown.

London cyclist deaths

2010: 10 deaths

2011: 16 deaths

2012: 14 deaths

2013: 14 deaths

2014: 13 deaths

Source: TfL

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