Cycle hires hit a record monthly high

Santander bike Chris Warham shutterstock_307029647-2

Photo: Chris Warham | Shutterstock

July 2016 was the most successful month for Santander Cycle hire since the bike-sharing scheme was first introduced in 2010.

A record 1.18 million bikes were hired across London last month, an average of 38,000 hires a for each day of the month.  The data from Transport for London shows that on three days, 19th, 30th and 31st of July there were more than 46,000 hires. The average hire time was 23 minutes.

The monthly total beats the previous record for July 2014 by 5,200.  Summer months always prove the most popular times and monthly hires were also over one million in May and just under in June.  The number of hires in January and February this year was around half the July total.

The city bike scheme was introduced on 30th July 2010. In the first two days 12,000 bikes were hired and in the first month 340,000 as the scheme was rolled out across the boroughs and the docking stations became a familiar sight on the streets.

The data shows that the most popular day in the scheme’s six-year existence was 9th July last year when 73,000 bikes were hired.  On the 6th August that year the second highest total was recorded of 64,000.

Mainline stations are the popular hire points, as previously reported by Urbs, as commuters arriving from outside London and make their way to work in the morning and afternoon rush hours.

But the hire data at major landmarks and parks also suggests that tourists may be the biggest users of the bikes, with routes across Hyde Park among the most popular. The data shows that weekends see the largest usage and the most popular weekday for hire is a Thursday.

The bike sharing scheme was introduced by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor and the bicycles  became known as Boris bikes despite a sponsorship deal with Barclays.  Santander took over sponsorship of the scheme last year, but the bikes have not gone on to be re-named Sadiq cycles.

Source data

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Staying healthy and getting there easily prompts Londoners to go on foot

feetA higher proportion of Londoners are walking regularly than people in any other region of the country. And the rate of going on foot in the capital is rising.

Medical professionals suggest that 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can improve health and help reduce the risk chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes. Walking for 30 minutes  5 times per week is considered a good way of performing that exercise. 54% of Londoners are now doing that, up from 49% in the previous year. The national average is 47%.

Walking London

The data from the Active People Survey by Sport England shows that central areas of London, with easier access to amenities and less dependence on cars (as reported by Urbs London) have the highest levels of walking, particularly Westminster, Camden, Wandsworth and Lambeth. These boroughs have the some of the highest levels of regular walkers in England. Only the Isles if Scilly has higher levels, and they are largely car free.

Walking map

Only 4 outer London boroughs are below the national average. In comparison cycling is more polarised between inner and outer areas. 10% of the population of London cycles once a week. It’s double that rate in Hackney and 3 times higher in the City of London. The rate of cycling in the City is 7 times higher than Hillingdon.

cylcing map

This pattern of a stark difference in inner and outer London is reflected in the usage of Boris Bikes across the capital (also reported by Urbs London). The outer borough that bucks this trend is Richmond, likely due to easy access to open spaces for recreational cycling, rather than commuting.

The numbers of regular cycle commuters, using bikes 5 times a week, has remained constant, but there has been a reduction over the past 4 years in occasional cyclists who use a bike once a week.

Source data

See also

Sporty Londoners prefer solo exercise

Car ownership reveals a tale of 2 Londons

Road deaths and serious injuries down but pedestrians remain most at risk

Where 22,000 cars were stolen in the capital last year

dreamstime_s_27170312Wandsworth is the car crime capital coming top of the list of the 32 boroughs where a total of 22,000 cars were stolen last year.  Wandsworth wins the accolade only narrowly as car theft is spread quite evenly across the city and only 5 boroughs have fewer than 500 cars stolen. In comparison, cycle theft is far more focused on central areas, perhaps reflecting  a higher number of inner city cyclists and where commuters leave their bikes for the day.

Data from the Metropolitan Police for the 12 months to March 2015 shows that car theft went up by 8% on the previous 12 months. 1,052 cars were taken in Wandsworth, and Newham was just 5 cars behind. But, as our map shows, the pattern of theft was quite evenly spread with a few more dark areas in the east than west.

Car theft

Lowest levels were in the south west but the safest place to park a car was Harrow, with just 195 taken in the period.

Bike theft is focused on the centre of the city. 17,300 cycles were stolen in the 12 months to March 2015, a fall of 7%.  Westminster was the most likely place to lose you bike, with 1,296 taken followed by Hackney with 1,282 stolen cycles. These 2 boroughs, plus Camden, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lambeth form a central ring that accounted for nearly half the cycle thefts.

Bike theft

After these areas the most worrying place to park your bike in a rack were the western boroughs of Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

The outlying boroughs of Havering and Bexley saw the lowest bike theft figures.

Source data

See also:

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

Traffic constant, profits up – a congestion charge story