Cycling in London becomes less attractive to low earners in the capital according to TfL data

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

Cycling in London is becoming less attractive to those in households with lower incomes according to new data.

The annual report called ‘Travel in London’ researches behavioural trends in the capital and has highlighted a growing middle-class male cycling culture developing on London’s roads during 2018/19.

According to the data sourced by Strategic Analysis at Transport for London (TfL) City Planning, 39% of cyclists live in a household that brings in over £75,000 a year. This figure has more than doubled since 2010/11.

In contrast, only 13% of cyclists in households earning less than £20,000 choose to cycle. This figure has dropped from the 27% recorded in 2010/11.

The trends are also showing an increase in the number of male riders from the year before, rising from 61% male to 62% in 2018/19.

There is also a growing trend based on the ethnicity of cyclists, with ‘white’ bikers growing by 3% to 78% from the previous year.

In a seprate ‘Intercept’ survey conducted on cyclists travelling on many of TfL’s new cycle routes where it has invested millions in cycling improvements, the results were even more stark.

The report notes: 'The proportion of women is relatively low (around 27 per cent on most routes), but this tends to be slightly higher (up to 34 per cent) on some (formerly) Quietway routes. Where data is available, this gender split has remained largely unchanged with respect to the pre-construction baselines.'

It also notes that 85% of users of the newly build cycle infrastructure are white.

The ‘Travel for London’ report summarises: 'In general, these findings suggest that cycling infrastructure of itself is not yet leading to a substantial shift in the overall demographics of people who cycle in London.

'Therefore, additional actions seem necessary to make cycling more representative and accessible to wider demographic groups.'

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