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Data about transport in London!

Complaints data from TfL

As covered here by London Reconnections, TfL have released some figures (at the back of this report by the Commissioner to the TfL Board) on complaints received from the public about various transport services in London during the financial year 2011/12. The summary table, reproduced below, shows that complaints levels per 100,000 journeys made were much higher on the Dial-a-Ride and Cycle Hire services than on the mainstream services.

One thing that might be of note is that according to the figures for bus complaints, there were around 4,700 complaints made in 2011/12 about ‘poor or dangerous driving’ by London bus drivers.

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Filed under: 2011/12, Complaints, London, TfL

Road casualties in London in 2011

In late June TfL published a factsheet on road casualties in 2011, which you can find alongside previous versions here. There were 29,257 casualties recorded by the police in 2011 (inevitably an under-estimate, since many injuries don’t get reported, particularly the less serious ones). Of these, 159 were fatalities, 2,646 were serious injuries, and 26,452 were slight injuries.

The number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) fell 3% from 2010 to the lowest number since 1986 (the earliest year of police reporting at Greater London level). But there were huge differences in trend for different categories of road user: while the number of car occupant KSIs fell by 31% and the number of bus or coach occupants by 12%, the number of cycling KSIs increased by 22% and the number of pedestrian KSIs by 7%.

Of course, these divergent trends are partly due to different trends in traffic for each mode, with car traffic generally falling and cycling rising in recent years. But it’s very unlikely that car traffic fell by 31% or that cycling rose by 22%, so it is highly probable that the car casualty rate fell and the cycle casualty rate rose. We should get more evidence on casualty rates when DfT update this table and others in a month or so.

It is also worth noting that DfT publish very detailed data for every single recorded casualty recorded on data.gov.uk. The data is at case level so you can analyse it any way you like, but be warned that the data is quite complex (you may need to match vehicle records with casualty records, for example) so it might take some time to understand.

Filed under: 2011, Data, London, Report, Safety, TfL

London Overground usage stats

In case you missed it, here’s a superb analysis by London Reconnections of a recent TfL report on the current and future usage of the London Overground.

Filed under: London, Rail, Report, TfL

Updated: trend in cycling flows on TLRN

We have posted previously about TfL’s statistics showing the trend in cycle flows measured on their network of main roads in London. Data for the second quarter of 2011/12 is now available and the charts below (and accompanying data) have been updated accordingly.

It’s important to note, though, that this is just one way of measuring trends in cycling in London, and probably not the best.

Filed under: Cycling, Data, Historic, London, TfL

Change in cycle to work rates between 1971 and 2001 by London borough

For all the data showing more recent trends in levels of cycling in London (such as the main roads count we covered previously), there is very little which tells us about longer term trends. However it is possible to get an idea of long term trends from the Census, which every ten years asks every person in the country a bunch of questions, including one about how people get to work.

We’ve just had a Census in March of this year but the results won’t be out for at least another 12 months, so the latest Census data we have is from 2001. Data going back to 1971 can be downloaded from Casweb or (only back to ’81) from Nomis. In each Census everyone of working age in employment was asked how they travelled to work or if they worked at home (Note: people could only tick one box and were asked to choose the mode of transport they used for the longest part, by distance, of their journey. So this will tend to undercount the amount of walking involved in journeys to work).

The chart below shows the trend in the proportion of people who said they cycled to work in London. There’s very little change over the thirty year period, with the proportion consistently in the 2% to 2.5% range.

Things get more interesting when you go below the regional level. Data is available to borough level, and I aggregated the boroughs into Inner and Outer London (according to the ONS definition). The chart below shows the results.

This shows a fairly remarkable turnaround. In 1971 Outer London residents were twice as likely to cycle to work as Inner London residents, but by 2001 it was the other way around. Cycling to work fell every decade in Outer London (though only slightly in the 1990s) and rose every decade in Inner London.

There are some striking trends at borough level too. In 1971 1% of people in Hackney cycled to work, but by 2001 it was 6%. At the other end, 5% of Hillingdon residents cycled to work in 1971, falling to 2% in 2001.

The two scatterplot charts below illustrate the borough level trends. The first charts the cycling rate in 1971 on the X axis against the rate in 2001 on the Y axis. Boroughs above the line saw an increase in the cycling rate between 1971 and 2001, and those below the line saw a decrease. The second chart plots the rate in 1971 against the percentage point change between 1971 and 2001. In both charts Inner London boroughs are shown as blue diamonds and Outer London boroughs as red circles.


Two things really stand out. First, boroughs with relatively high cycling rates in 1971 tended to see decreases over the next 30 years. Secondly, Inner London boroughs nearly all saw an increase while Outer London boroughs nearly all saw a fall. The only Inner London borough that didn’t increase its cycling rate over this period was Newham.

It’s worth bearing in mind a few caveats about these figures. First, they describe the transport choices of residents of each borough, but not the journeys made in each borough. As many (most?) journeys to work involve crossing borough boundaries, the modal share of journeys made in each borough will be somewhat different (The City of London is an extreme case, as it has very few residents but a huge number of people commute to work there).

Second, these figures include all modes of transport, including rail, which is obviously quite important in terms of commuting in London. It’s possible to instead look at cycling as as proportion of road traffic only, but that doesn’t seem to change the conclusions very much.

Third, this data only describes journeys to work, which are certainly important but still a minority of all the trips taken in London. We’d be interested to see any similar data for non-work journeys if it’s out there somewhere.

Finally, we’ll be making the data available soon, once we work out the best way of presenting it.

Filed under: Boroughs, Census, Cycling, Data, Historic, London