Cycling Census Data: 2001 versus 2011

A car recycling area and scrap yard.

Census data is absolutely undeniable: there have been massive rises in car-free households here over the past decade. It is now officially the majority-case all across London. Yet London’s borough councils persist in designing our roads for cars rather than for pedestrians, bikes and public transport, in direct conflict with what’s actually happening.

Some examples:

  • Kensington & Chelsea households are now 56% car-free, up from 51% in 2001.
  • In Hackney, it’s more dramatic: 65% of households are now car-free, up from 56% in 2001.
  • Lambeth: 58% of households are car-free, up from 51% in 2001.
  • Southwark in 2001: 51% of households had no car or van. By 2011, that number was up to 58%.
  • Even in car-centric Wandsworth, 45% now have no car, up from 41% in 2001.
  • In Westminster a whopping 63% of households don’t own a car, up from 57% in 2001.

Even after reading these facts some people will still struggle to accept that as cyclists we are one of many great solutions to London’s health, transport, parking and interaction policies. Perhaps we ought to present ourselves as ‘pedestrians with bikes’, rather than letting people see us as being on ‘alternative driving machines’?

Imagine having been in one of the traffic jams below; all of them are record holders:

  • Beijing: Tibet Express Way, China 2010. Length: 62 miles. Delay: 12 Days. Reason: Too much traffic, especially trucks.
  • Chicago, USA 2011: Length: ? miles: Delay: 12 Hours. Reason: 20.2 inches of snow
  • Lyon-Paris, France 1980: Length: 109 miles. Delay: ? Reason: Skiers returning to Paris and bad weather.
  • Moscow, Russia 2012: Length: ? miles. Delay: 3 Days: Reason: Snow storm on the M-10 Highway.
  • San Paulo, Brazil 2009: Length: 182 miles (out of 522 miles of road). Delay: ?. Reason: Normal traffic delays.
  • Tokyo, Japan 1990: Length: 84 miles. Delay: ?. reason holidaymakers heading back home and people evacuating an upcoming typhoon.