Lambeth wards named among top 100 cycling neighbourhoods in the capital


Measures are being taken to make the borough safer for cyclists


By Douglas Patient

Lambeth has been named as having one of the highest numbers of cyclists in London but is it safe enough for them?

Fifteen of Lambeth’s 21 wards are included in the top 100 cycling neighbourhoods in London, but questions are being asked whether the right facilities are in place in areas such as Vauxhall Cross. 

Cycling is most popular in the north of the borough with over 13 per cent of people in Herne Hill and 10 per cent in Brixton Hill and Tulse Hill choosing to cycle to work.

Charlie Holland, borough coordinator for Lambeth Cyclists, said: “Lambeth aspires to be a very cycle-friendly borough, aiming for people aged 8 to 80 to be able to cycle around comfortably. There is still an awful lot of work to do to make this happen though.”

Transport for London report that more than 1000 cyclists are injured on the city’s roads each year and figures have been increasing as more people take up the sport. 

Between 2001 and 2011, the number of cyclists in London rose from 77,000 to 154,900.

The Vauxhall Cross gyratory has come into criticism from Lambeth Cyclists for its busy layout and traffic being dangerous for cyclists.

“Vauxhall is now a densely populated area and the gyratory as it stands is completely unfriendly to cyclists,” Mr Holland said.  

Changes are in the pipeline with plans to make the area around Vauxhall Station safer, with a cyclist superhighway being discussed.

Lambeth Labour Councillor Pete Robbins tweeted on Wednesday: “Whole reason we want to scrap the gyratory is to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Bolt Burdon Kemp, a law firm, published a ‘cycling revolution’ map using data from the 2011 UK Census, Transport for London’s Cycling Census and Bike Share data from University College London and TfL. 

Oliver Jeffcott, head of the cycling department at Bolt Burdon Kemp, told the Standard: “We wanted to illustrate how the cycling numbers in Londonare dramatically on the rise so cyclists need to be given more consideration by road users.”

The UK average for journeys made by bike is only around 2 per cent. In London however, the cycling population in some boroughs is as high as 20 per cent, approaching the government’s Get Britain Cycling target of 25 per cent.

Yesterday a spokesperson for Lambeth Cyclists said: “Whilst the large numbers of people cycling in Lambeth is cause for celebration the figures show that at most just over one in 10 people in the borough are cycling to work.

“There is still much to be done to encourage as many people as possible to cycle for their journeys to work, to school, to the shops and for leisure purposes. We want to see all 21 of Lambeth’s wards in the top 100 neighbourhoods for cycling in London.”

Photo courtesy of DazSu, with thanks.

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