Mar 09 2013

Cycling in Harrow – A Dismal Failure

boy_on_bikeFull credit must go to Cyclists in the City for the content of this article. It’s author, Danny, says, “…I feel that too many of London’s decision-makers don’t understand some very simple facts about what puts people off cycling and walking in London . The primary focus of this blog is to encourage London’s politicians, planners and opinion-makers to improve the way people get around the capital’s streets without them needing to resort to a private motor vehicle.”

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Only 0.8% of Harrow people who travel to work use their bike.[/pullquote]In an article about Hackney, more people travel to work use a bike than use a car. And among Inner London residents, more than 7% who travel to work now travel by bicycle. Across London as a whole, 4.3% now travel by bike to work, up from 2.3% in 2001

So how does Harrow look in all this? A dismal and embarrassing bottom of the league. In Brent, for example, 2.7% of people who travel to work, do so by bike. In Hillingdon, it’s 1.5%. In Hackney, it’s 15%. And Harrow? Only 0.8% of people who travel to work use their bike. It’s clear the Hillingdon has twice as many cycle-to-work workers, and Brent has nearly three and a half as many cycle-to-work workers. Why is Harrow so low?

cycle_chart_1As Danny says, in Hackney, more people cycle to work than drive to work. In Westminster, however, twice as many people drive to work as cycle to work (and this despite the fact that there are more places to work in Westminster, ie there are potentially more local journeys to employment than there are in Hackney). 11.2% of Westminster’s population drives to work and only 5.3% cycles. In Hackney, 15.4% cycle and 12.8% drive.

In Harrow, 47.2% of workers travel by car/van, in Hillingdon, it’s 58.3%.

cycle_chart_2What this comes down to is policy. If you review the policies of Hackney and Westminster, you’ll see that Hackney makes it easier to cycle than to drive. The City of Westminster, however, makes it easier to drive than cycle. Unsurprisingly, Westminster’s policies have led to more people using cars and to the “parking stress” that Westminster complains is cluttering up its streets.

We’d recommend you read Danny’s blog if you have even the slightest interest in cycling in the city, and you can read the article that fueled this one, here.


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