According to a report shared with the City of London Corporation transportation committee earlier this year, bikes were more common than cars in London during peak hours in 2022.
Since 1999, the committee has been monitoring traffic at 12 sites in the city, Forbes reports. Observers track the number of different categories of vehicles, including bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, vans, and taxis. They also count the number of people on foot.
This year, like in previous years, walking was the number one way to get around in this area of London, Forbes says. But unlike in previous years, bikes were more common than cars — even though the data were gathered on a rainy day in November, meaning the weather was far from ideal for biking.
According to Forbes, the use of passenger cars in London has been dropping for decades, with the quickest declines from 2007 to 2009 and 2014 to 2016. At the same time, bicycles have been on the rise, and in 2022, bike users actually overtook car users.
Bikes are also at 102% of their pre-pandemic levels, while most other types of vehicles are still being used less than they were before the pandemic, according to Forbes.
Worldwide, there has been a move away from polluting methods of travel like traditional cars. Electric vehicles (EVs) keep getting more popular, including e-bikes, because they’re affordable, clean, and quiet. Many organizations are also coming up with other eco-friendly alternatives, like the Dutch “bike bus” designed to transport children.
As the London report shows, old-fashioned cycling is also on the rise, giving participants a virtually free way to get around while getting exercise and other health benefits at the same time.
There are benefits besides saving money and getting exercise, too. The more people switch to non-polluting transportation, the better it will be for the planet. Gas-powered cars release heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere; passenger vehicles accounted for about 3.5 billion tons of carbon pollution in 2019, according to Statista. Cutting back on the use of cars, especially less-efficient cars, will help cool down the planet.
Danny Williams, the CEO of Active Travel England, told Forbes the increase in biking in London was “quite astonishing.”
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