With London the most congested city in Europe isn’t it time to get on your bike?
Figures released by transport analysts Intrix this week suggest that London is the most congested city in Europe. During rush hour, cycling can get you where you want to go three times faster than a car. Isn’t it about time to get on your bike?
Intrix has been surveying congestion in major cities in Europe for several years, and over the last few years as the economy in the city has grown so has congestion on the city’s roads. It is now ranked as the most congested city in Europe where in 2013 it was ranked second, and the year before, third.
The Department for Transport released average speed statistics for major roads in London last week and in Westminster at rush hour, motor vehicles travel at an average speed of 3.8mph.
According to the Intrix statistics, Londoners on a regular commute will spend 12 days a year stuck in traffic. What a waste of your life! If you want to lead a truly busy life, isn’t it about time you got on your bike?!
Get there faster on a bike
In your air conditioned car travelling at a fast walking pace you will get where you’re going eventually, often with high blood pressure at the antics of other road users! On your bike, an easy cruising speed is around 12mph, or around three times the speed of a car in the same traffic. You will get a high pulse but you’re less likely to see your doctor for heart problems…
Cyclists in the most congested areas of London all too often leave cars behind for good while going about their daily business. They don’t pay congestion charge or road tax (something that irritates cabbies and some van drivers, I know…) and are healthier overall. With better health you are able to handle a faster pace of life, and honestly according to the statistics can fit more into your day.
One actually wonders what the point is in spending £50,000+ on a posh car capable of 150mph when it often goes at 1/50th of the speed it is designed to reach on the open road when cyclists on their £500 machine frequently leave them for dust.
Dangers and road improvements
One of the biggest issues in the last London Mayoral campaign was cycling in the city, as more people jump on their bikes to avoid congested public transport or expensive and very slow driving. The signs are that it will be a one of the big issues in the coming campaigns too.
Yes there are the whingers who say cycling is a good way to die, but the statistics routinely suggest that are healthier, less stressed and live longer. As to the filthy air of the city? As more people get out of their cars and onto their bikes, so the yellow haze on the skyline will fade. You can make a difference just by getting on your bike. As millions more do, so the difference will be ever more significant.