5 things to expect from cycling in London in 2011

1. Expansion of the Boris Bike Scheme

Map showing the Boris Bike Expansion

The hugely successful-even-if-plagued-by-more-problems-than-Windows-ME Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme is set for expansion east, in time for the 2012 Olympics. The lucky Londoners in Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar will be next to see docking stations popping up. The expanded Boris Bike scheme will eventually cover 40 miles of the capital with 2,000 extra bikes added to the fleet.

2. Completion of two more Cycle Superhighways

Cycle superhighways in 2011

Cycle Superhighway 2 and Cycle Superhighway 8 are due to be completed by the summer of 2011. Whilst the first two routes have been deemed to be everything but super from users, hopes are high than some lessons will have been learnt. The two new routes will go from Bow to Aldgate and Wandsworth to Westminster.

3. A couple more cyclists

Am I using Google maps too much?

As we’re supposed to be hitting a 400% increase in cycling compared to 2000 by 2025 there should technically be a load more cyclists on the road. Rising fuel and public transport prices as well as constant tube strikes should hopefully force more people onto bikes! Scrapping the congestion charge zone increase and a drop in the available budget for cycling will no doubt act against the expansion.

4. Advances in law for cyclists

Changes in law for cyclists

With continuing support for “Sharing the road” and a decreasing budget for building dedicated cycling infrastructure we have to place our hope that well supported initiatives such as turn left at red and allowing cyclists to go down one way streets will come to our rescue. However, road rules are notoriously slow to change.

5. Changes in the makeup of cyclists

Cycling: It's not just for boys

Although cycling has traditionally been a male dominated activity, hopefully things will start to balance out. TfL will be focusing some of their Barclays Cycle Hire promotional efforts particularly on women to try to bridge the divide. Especially after they discovered only 1 in 4 users are female. We should also see a continuation of the trend of bikes been seen as utility vehicles. People are increasingly realising they often don’t need 27 gears and prefer something a little cheaper and that requires less maintenance.

What’s your 2011 predictions?

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14 Responses to 5 things to expect from cycling in London in 2011

  1. Kevin Campbell's Blog 01/01/2011 at 2:28 pm #

    i think you covered everything there, i would say most important is more cyclists, hopefully boris sees sense eventually and looks at things the way australia does, referring to that blog post you did the other day about who has the right plan

    lets hope the amount of cyclists sky rockets next year, i am sure it will increase loads with all these budget cuts too and the recently announced fuel price rises

    • christhebull 13/01/2011 at 8:07 pm #

      I think the blog post was about Canada. The bike hire scheme in Melbourne has been an epic fail because of the helmet laws.

  2. jtb 01/01/2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Does anyone have any more details about the expansion of the hire scheme east. The only info i’ve found do far is “by 2012”. Have they started to add new station already?

    • Andreas 01/01/2011 at 5:28 pm #

      I think details are a little thin on the ground. I’m guessing that it will be a phased expansion so we could start seeing the first few stations very soon. I’ll keep the blog updated when more info comes together.

  3. Angi 02/01/2011 at 12:19 am #

    I’d love to see more cyclists on the road…especially more female ones. It would also be nice if the cycle hire scheme could maybe expand out to the West maybe (as far out as Shepherd’s Bush).

  4. Alistair 03/01/2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I had heard that boris bikes would not be allowed on the olympic site as barclays aren’t an olympic sponsor.. not only would there be no stations there you would be stopped from cycling one of the bikes there.

    doesn’t seem very well linked up.

    • Andreas 03/01/2011 at 9:28 pm #

      That’s right Alistair. Something to do with the sponsorship. I think you will be able to station your bike nearby just not enter in the grounds.

      • Gerhard 07/01/2011 at 9:37 am #

        I thought there will be no cycling at all in the Olympic park during the games, hire bikes or any others. It will be closed to all vehicular ttraffic.
        As for before and after the games, I don’t think sponsors can affect that.

  5. robbie craig 04/01/2011 at 12:03 am #

    That Boris will replace the cycling super highways and certain bus services with a new active travel option – the Google supported Shweeb –


  6. julie 06/01/2011 at 11:09 am #

    I like a lot this article, very simple to understand for foreigners like me. Specially the ridiculously funny drawing. I think you really need to follow a “Paint lesson” !! But anyway, I’m totally agree with you and it’s very good a girl write article in London Cyclist for a few weeks now.

  7. thereverent 06/01/2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Despite the doom mongers I think the Boris Bikes will take off with casual users in the summer, the commuter users will still being using them in the winter.

    With Cycle Superhighway 8 I look forward to some big improvements on that route. It currently has some major problems as show here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0jB6PJRMBg

    It would be nice to see a few of the bad gyratory being redesigned (Vauxhall, Parliament Square, Aldgate, and Marble Arch).

    More one way streets open for two way cycle traffic is a big step forward, and the City is doing some good stuff with this.
    Maybe the City and Westminster should look at cloing some very small streets to motor traffic altogether (as these streets are often only used as Taxi rat runs).

  8. Gerhard 07/01/2011 at 9:44 am #

    You forgot to mention that whilst the highway 2 (to Bow) will be built it will not go to Ilford as planned. It won’t even go to the Olympics or the new Stratford car park (with attached shopping centre). It appears Newham Council doesn’t like blue very much, which seems a good enough reason to deprive Redbridge of a decent route into the city.
    Otherwise I would predict summer 2011 to be the true Summer of Cycling (as oppose 2010 as proclaimed by Boris). With cycle hire in full swing and a substantial number of cyclists riding even on the most miserable Winter days there really is nothing stopping it.

  9. Shamus 07/01/2011 at 9:45 pm #

    I wish I shared your optimism A. However, while a ‘400% increase in cyclists by 2025’ sounds impressive, it is anyything but. What counts is modal share and the 2025 target is a mere 5% – hardly ambitious or evidence of a cycling revolution. Remind me, what is the modal shre in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany…

    The chances of attracting many more female or ethnicly diverse cyclists is also not going to happen. The reason is repeated in survey after survey – the 98% of the population that don’t cycle are put off by having to mix it with motorised traffic. Before anyone says there isn’t space, go take a look at Holland. There’s space, what is lacking is political will. That’s why even the meager facilities we get are second rate (give way at every junction etc).

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