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Data about transport in London!

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

New TfL report about onwards travel from Central London termini

Just noticed that TfL have recently published a report about onwards travel from the main Central London rail termini, which you can find here. It looks at who uses the termini, where they are going (in terms of location and trip purpose) and how they get there. Here’s a chart of onwards distance travelled by mode:

One of the more interesting findings is the make-up of the group of people that usually cycle their onwards journey: “Cycling is dominated by a particular demographic. Eighty two per cent of cycle journeys are made by men and 60 per cent of cyclists are aged between 25 and 44”. The new Cycle Hire scheme doesn’t seem to have changed this much.

Filed under: 2010, Cycling, DfT, London, Rail, Report

Quarterly trend in cycle flows on London’s main roads

Transport for London’s quarterly ‘Operational and Financial Performance Report’, which is published as part of the Finance and Policy Committee papers, includes a measure of the trend in the number of cyclists counted on London’s main roads (the Transport for London Road Network, or TLRN). The measure is an index set to 100 in the base period of March 2000, and according to the latest report the index reached a new high of 298 in the latest quarter (April to June 2011). This means that in this period there were about three times as many cyclists counted as using the TLRN as in March 2000.

The first chart below shows the quarterly trend in the index (and a four-quarter moving average), while the second chart shows the trend in the annualised change, i.e. the change from the same quarter a year ago. You can get the data for each chart in csv format here.

Last year’s Travel in London report also included a monthly index (Fig 2.11, data in this big spreadsheet).

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

Cyclist casualties in the City of London

We previously posted about the London-wide trend in cyclist casualties by severity. In this post we look at the trend in the City of London, the ‘Square Mile’ that constitutes London’s financial centre and most built-up area. The first chart below (get the data in csv format here) shows total cyclist casualties in the City split into those who were killed or seriously injured and those who were slightly injured, while the second chart shows just the killed or seriously injured. Note that we only have a total casualties figure for 2010, so the second chart only goes up to 2009.

There has clearly been a large increase in cycling casualties in the City over the last couple of decades, in contrast to the London-wide trend which is broadly steady over the same period. There are certainly more cyclists entering the City in recent years, but as this analysis suggests there is little evidence that the rate of casualties per trip is falling.

Finally (and this goes for any discussion of transport casualties on this blog), the recent death of a cyclist in Clapham reminds us that although we generally try to keep the tone fairly dry and dispassionate here, nobody should forget that every death on the roads is a tragedy and any collision can be highly traumatic, and not just for the victim.

Filed under: Boroughs, Cycling, Data, Historic, Safety, TfL

Cycle thefts by borough, 2010/11

Transport for London recently announced a fall in the number of reported bicycle thefts in London. Ross Lydall of the Evening Standard has the full story, and kindly uploaded TfL’s data on the number of thefts in each borough by month between June 2010 and May 2011. We have sorted the data into a more user-friendly format and summed the monthly data into four seasons. You can download the data here or have a look at the below chart we did in Tableau (you’ll have to click on it to get to a reasonable size).

Filed under: 2010/11, Boroughs, Crime, Cycling, TfL

Trend in London cyclist casualties by severity

Transport for London’s factsheets and reports on collisions and casualties in London can be found here. General reports covering all modes are published annually (first as factsheets then in more detailed reports), while topic-specific factsheets, for example on pedestrians or cyclists only, are less frequent.

The latest factsheet on cyclist casualties was published in November 2010 and reported on casualties in 2009, with breakdowns by borough, age, gender etc. It also includes a table summarising the trend in cycle casualties in London as a whole since 1986. We have extracted the data from this table and added 2010 data from the most recent all-modes factsheet. The chart below shows the trend, and you can download the resulting table in csv from this link.

London cyclist casualties trend 1986-2010

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