London on Two Wheels
Published 15 December 2009
Cyclists have taken over the streets of London! According to the latest Transport for London (TfL) 2008 report, around six per cent of residents are bikers commuters from home to work. The figure keeps rising as an increasing number of people have realised that cycling is a faster, cheaper, healthier and an eco-friendly transportation.
The trend is encouraging support for the upcoming bike hire scheme to be launched next summer by the London mayor, Boris Johnson. There will be over six thousand bikes for rent within Central London, with hire dock stations placed installed around central London every 300 meters.
The London boroughs appointed by the scheme have already made great progress on building the infrastructure the scheme requires. Besides the hire dock stations, cycling training, engineering and enforcements have been implemented.
Current cyclists commuters support the new transport strategy for the city. Most of them hope the large number of cycles in use could make motor drivers more aware of bikers. John Flood, a Hackney cyclist commuter said: “If there is a behaviour change on the road it will be good for all of us.”
The worry over safer cycling is one of the major concerns for cyclist commuters. But it is not the only one. A dramatic increase of stolen bikes over the past year has been acknowledged by the Metropolitan Police. In just the first half of 2009 the cycle theft figure rose by 38 per cent compared with the same period of 2008.
Still, despite the increase in thefts, Londoners are still taking to the street on two wheels in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as to save money that would otherwise would have been spent on tube or bus travelcards. Many companies now also offer a cycle scheme, which is a government initiative offering tax breaks to those who buy a bike and commit to cycling to work.
Written by Murielle González Oisel. You can read more at her blog, IM Photopress.