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Are bike statistics wheely correct?

Letters

I am writing with reference to the NCE article of 28 September on Transport for London's ambitions under Mayor Livingstone. I was struck by a quote attributed to Derek Turner, the director for street management, claiming that 15% of vehicles in the London rush hour are cycles and that the figure is growing.

I checked in the DETR publication Transport Statistics for London 1999 and from my reading of past trends to 1998 (excluding public transport and walk) pedal bike accounted for less than 2% of average annual distance travelled by London residents using car, pedal or motor bike.

Even combining pedal and motor bike gave less than 4%.

If the quote is correct, this seems to raise the interesting question as to whether such continuing change in Londoners travel habits could nullify the need for Mayor Livingstone's plans to introduce a car congestion charging scheme in Central London. Will there be any car congestion left to charge? Perhaps bike congestion will be the new issue.

Rennie Witt, 'Kempshott', off Wilderness Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7QP

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