New Superhighways and Quietways stats from TfL

TfL has today released a new briefing note on progress on its Cycle Superhighways and Quietways programmes. There's a lot in the note, but here's the most important bits...

On Cycle Superhighways

"In only five months… there has been more than a 50 per cent increase in the number of cyclists using the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways.”

“Total number of cyclists to 8,400 using Blackfriars Bridge and 7,000 using Victoria Embankment each day in the morning and evening peaks. The majority of cyclists are now choosing to use the dedicated cycle track rather than the carriageway, with over 90 per cent doing so along these routes.”

“On Victoria Embankment on CSEW, the number of cyclists has increased to 3,608 and 3,389 in the morning and evening peaks respectively, up by 54 per cent against pre-construction figures. At its busiest, cyclists made up 52 per cent of all traffic; (b) on Blackfriars Bridge on CSNS the number of cyclists has increased to 4,695 and 3,722 in the morning and evening peaks respectively, up by 55 per cent against pre-construction figures. At its busiest, cyclists made up 70 per cent of all traffic; and (c) on Vauxhall Bridge on CS5 the number of cyclists has increased to 1,889 and 1,505 in the morning and evening peaks respectively, up by 73 per cent against pre-construction figures.”

“At peak times, the new cycling infrastructure moves an average of 46 per cent of people along the route at key congested locations, despite occupying only 30 per cent of the road space. Two weeks after opening, the CSEW and CSNS corridors are moving five per cent more people per hour than they could without cycle lanes”

“Whilst it is still early to judge objectively the success of the new CS routes, observations are showing good compliance of traffic signals and other infrastructure, plus a wider appeal and use beyond commuter cycling, including increasing use by parents and children.”

On Quietways

“Quietway 1… Certain sections saw an increase from 650 to 900 cyclists in the morning peak, a 38 per cent increase.”

On congestion

“Economic recovery has driven up congestion across London, and has brought increasing numbers of private developments and large infrastructure projects. With London’s population forecast to grow from 8.6m people to around 10m by 2030, current initiatives to limit congestion are not enough to maintain an efficient road network... The ‘Healthy Streets’ approach will be integral to the strategy to reduce traffic, and work towards a safer and more attractive city for pedestrians and cyclists by making it even easier for people to take public transport, walk or cycle.”

“TfL and other local authorities have therefore reallocated road space away from private vehicles particularly in inner London to improve road safety, increase bus service reliability, and improve facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and taxis. Reallocating road space creates more space for walking and cycling and brings other benefits, such as to health and air quality, and encourages a reduced reliance on cars. While reallocating road space has made journeys for motorised vehicles slower in some locations, improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists maximises the efficiency of the road network, and over the long term will result in an increase in the proportion of people using sustainable transport.”

“Cycling journeys have increased by 10 per cent since 2013 and have more than doubled since 2001. The number of daily cycling journeys is now equivalent to 10 per cent of bus journeys or 20 per cent of Tube journeys.”

On Cycle Superhighways causing congestion (or not)

“On CS5, inbound journey times for motor traffic in the morning peak are approximately 20 minutes, compared to 20 - 25 minutes during the works and 15 - 20 minutes prior to works. In the evening peak, journey times are now about 15 minutes compared to 15 - 20 minutes during works and just less than 15 minutes prior to works.”

“On CSNS, since completion of construction, southbound journey times have reduced to approximately what was experienced pre-construction. Northbound journey times were between 5 - 7 minutes pre-construction and reached between 8 - 12 minutes during construction. Since the completion of the scheme the northbound journey times have stayed at around 10 minutes.”

“On CSEW, journey times have improved since the works have completed; the exception to this is the eastbound direction in the evening peak. Compared to preconstruction the westbound journey times have increased by 3 - 5 minutes in the morning and evening peaks. Eastbound journey times have increased by 5 - 10 minutes in the morning peak and by 10 - 15 minutes in the evening peak. This is due to the removal of a traffic lane and improvements to pedestrian facilities. As works are ongoing, the changes to journey times are not comparable to information given at public consultation.”

“As construction of CSEW and other projects in central London are completed, traffic conditions are improving and impacts on buses are reducing.”

On Cycle Superhighways bringing benefits to pedestrians also

“The CS have demonstrated that cycling schemes can also deliver substantial improvements for pedestrians, with over 1,400m2 of additional footway, 23 new and 37 upgraded pedestrian crossings, and pedestrian countdown delivered as part of the routes. Specific examples include the introduction of a new crossing at Parliament Square on CSEW – opening up and transforming the feel of the square for pedestrians; and Blackfriars Road – where developer funding was obtained to deliver high quality... urban realm improvements as part of the CSNS works.”

On trials for schemes and a new approach to more and better engagement

“There has been notable opposition to some proposed Quietway schemes... For example, some trial road closures have been negatively received. Thorough and proportionate consultation is encouraged across all QW schemes and trial closures are now discouraged unless preceded by significant engagement and consultation to mitigate the risk of fierce opposition. More work is now undertaken up front to help stakeholders understand the QW product and programme, so as to ensure that any initial opposition driven by a lack of understanding is addressed. As the QW construction programme and monitoring advances we will be able to strengthen the case for QWs in new locations, and show that some of the feared consequences do not arise.”