Believe it or not, one thing’s for sure: the number of cyclists in London is growing. Attracted by the successes of Team Sky, in recent years Londoners have taken to cycling in record numbers. In fact, since 1994 the number of daily bike commutes has increased from 270,000 to 580,000. Despite that increase the number of serious accidents has fluctuated; first falling and now seemingly rising again. Some 475 cyclists were seriously injured on London’s streets during 2013, including 14 fatalities. Another 13 cyclists died in accidents in 2014.
Cycling conditions in the city have been widely perceived as unsafe by most cyclists, as was found out. Furthermore, a spate of cycling-related deaths sparked heavy protests and calls for rapid safety improvements from politicians, cycling organizations and the media.
Famous adventurer and TV presenter Ben Fogle said to Independent Daily that riding a bike in England’s capital had “become too dangerous”. He has completed the Marathon des Sables and raced to the South Pole, but what really frightens him is cycling on London’s streets. Fogle believes that drivers and cyclists need to be kept apart. Like many others he would like to see cars removed from central London altogether and he’s looking forward to the big cycling superhighways.
Cab drivers protest
The east-west superhighway is already being constructed in London. But the project is not welcomed by everyone. Recently, London’s black cab drivers had launched a High Court motion in an attempt to stop the construction. The Licensed Taxi Driver Association says the segregated cycle path is causing serious disruption to traffic in the capital. The drivers claim that superhighway will cause traffic jams, with hundreds stuck bumper to bumper, poisoning everybody else with pollution. It’s hard to say who’s right. But one thing is sure for now. Something is due to happen before it’s too late.