The number of cyclists in London is reaching record high figures. According to a 2015 report from Transport for London, the total number of cycling journeys per day rose by 5% to 610,000.
James Bull, UK Country Manager at Mynewsdesk, has been commuting to work for the past nine years. He sees a big difference in number of cyclists, road conditions and and attitude toward cyclists. Facilities have improved, but the infrastructure is still under-developed due to the increased number of cyclists, making it a dangerous environment, especially for the untrained.
Despite this, Mr. Bull enthusiastically jumps up on his Boris Bike and pedals to work every morning.
– I started cycling as a way to save money on my commute in London, but it has grown into a passion. It gives me a chance to clear my mind and get fit. It is great to take part in something that can be both competitive and surprisingly social. In London, it’s a great way to appreciate the city, plus it’s often much quicker than taking the tube, Bull says.
How would you describe the cycling experience in London?
– When it comes to cycling in London, you need to be very alert and confident. In my opinion, compared to other cities such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, London is under-developed regarding infrastructure. But we are starting to see improvements.
Do you think the cycling environment has become better or worse over the last five years?
– Cycling is something that is growing rapidly in London. Compared to five years ago, you can see that the awareness of cyclists on the road has increased. Drivers do appear to be more aware, but it is far from perfect. The facilities have improved, both regarding segregated cycle lanes and routes. Furthermore, companies are now encouraging cycling to work, providing cycle schemes and bike storage.
What do you want to say to other cyclists in London?
– My message is not just to cyclists; it is to everyone. All road users, be it drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, need to respect the rules and be aware of each other, as well as their safety. If everyone were to be considerate of others, then the streets of London would be a much safer place. But of course, politicians and lawmakers need to listen to the voices of those who use the roads every day and make considerable improvements.