Strategic Cycling Analysis – the future of London cycling, mapped

TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis (SCA) could be just about the biggest thing to happen for cycling in London in some time. It’s almost certain to be the biggest thing in terms of campaigning for cycling.

What is it?

The SCA is a big map of where there is high potential for walking and cycling across London. It tells us (approximately) where the next Cycle Superhighways, Quietways and Liveable Neighbourhoods will be built over the next ten years or so.

The map is based on a series of layers of data that TfL has access to. The most important bit of data is TfL’s travel demand stats that show where many London journeys start and end, and by what mode. From this TfL can tell which journeys that are currently driven could easily be walked and cycled.

On top of this is layered:

  • Where existing and planned cycling schemes currently already are
  • Demographic data showing where there are lots of people who’re likely to take up cycling
  • Planning data that shows where lots of new homes and office developments are proposed
  • Traffic counts that show where high cycling flows currently are
  • Collision data to show where dangerous junctions are
  • Data showing where there is potential for walking and cycling, as well as bus corridors
  • Data showing areas with low accessibility to public transport interchanges (called “PTAL”), but that could have far higher accessibility if it felt safe to cycle to the nearest tube/bus station.

Why is it important?

For starters, those boroughs who have, in the past, claimed that their residents don’t cycle and never will are now arguing against a wall of data from TfL, with the backing of the Mayor and his Walking and Cycling Commissioner. Every borough will clearly be able see the corridors and areas where if they build high-quality infrastructure, TfL’s data shows they’ll get high numbers of people cycling and walking.

Importantly, TfL will now be able to tie funding streams to creating schemes that fulfil London’s cycling potential – rather than the pet schemes of Councillors, officers or, yes, campaigners. And campaigners and TfL will be able to assess the specific routes and scheme details that engineers bring forward on a clear basis – “will this scheme fulfil the potential identified in the SCA or not?”

This will be the key mechanism to fulfil the Mayor’s Sign for Cycling pledges (to triple the mileage of protected space, finish the Better Junctions programme and provide Liveable Neighbourhood funding for every borough) beyond the current set of already-announced schemes such as Cycle Superhighways 4 and 9, due for public consultation soon.

What happens next?

TfL are already contacting boroughs to talk through the top 25 priority corridors the SCA identifies, to look at the feasibility of delivering schemes along them – identifying more exact routings and likely interventions required. And they’re working with boroughs also to identify where each borough’s walking and cycling Liveable Neighbourhood centre will best be sited.

We’ll be talking to our borough campaign groups to see what resources they need to make sure the schemes that come forward do genuinely deliver on the potential the SCA identifies; and to make sure that they are talking to their boroughs about potential schemes, routings, areas etc.

We’ll also be pressing the Mayor, his Walking & Cycling Commissioner and TfL to make sure that borough access to funding, going forward, is contingent on schemes genuinely fulfilling potential rather than just paying lip-service to it.

The 25 priority corridors are:

  1. Kentish Town - Wood Green
  2. Camden Town - Tottenham Hale
  3. Dalston - Lea Bridge Road
  4. Hackney, Mare Street - Shadwell
  5. Greenwich foot tunnel - Hackney
  6. Stratford - Ilford
  7. Leyton - Barking Road
  8. Canning Town - Barking
  9. Manor Park - Woolwich Ferry
  10. Ilford - Dagenham Dock
  11. Greenwich - Woolwich
  12. Rotherhithe crossing - Peckham
  13. Old Kent Road - New Cross Gate
  14. Deptford - Oval
  15. Oval - Streatham
  16. Vauxhall - Clapham Common
  17. Chelsea Embankment - Clapham Common
  18. Pimlico - Putney
  19. Clapham Common - Mortlake
  20. Teddington - Twickenham
  21. Hounslow - Heathrow
  22. Shepherd's Bush - Southall
  23. Fulham - Wembley
  24. Kilburn - Edgware
  25. Highgate - North Finchley

Download the Strategic Cycling Analysis here.

The press release accompanying the launch of the SCA revealed the phenomenal success of cycling in London – when high-quality infrastructure is built to enable it. The East-West has increased cycling numbers by 54% along its length, the North-South by 32% along its length and Quietway 1 has seen an increase of 56%. There are now 670,000 cycling trips made daily in London, that’s as many as the Victoria line.

“Cycling is taking off in London and TfL’s new figures prove that Londoners flock to high quality cycle lanes and routes where they’re built,” said Ashok Sinha, CEO of London Cycling Campaign. “By clearly showing where cycling potential is highest, this new analysis enables the Mayor to implement his promises to triple the extent of protected space for cycling, and make sure every borough can access Liveable Neighbourhood funding in the most effective way possible. Londoners will get a great return on this investment in the form of reduced congestion and pollution, cheaper travel, better public health, and more high quality public spaces.”

“While we are working hard to build new Cycle Superhighways and Quietways now, it’s also important that we look ahead to expand the cycling network and create the next generation of routes,” said Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner. “We’ll be working closely with the boroughs to deliver schemes that help continue this spectacular growth in cycling for many years to come.”

“This exciting analysis will help to transform cycling in all four corners of our great city,” said Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL. “The latest cycling statistics and the data on future cycling demand shows there is no stopping London’s rapid cycling growth and we will work closely with the boroughs to help fuel this growth further by fixing the most dangerous junctions and delivering on major cycling improvements.”