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More Londoners swap cars for public transport

More than 1M car journeys in London were shifted to public transport in the last decade, according to a new report by Transport for London.

Transport for London has published its annual Travel in London report, which found that there has been a 7% shift to public transport, cycling and walking since 2000. Londoners now use public transport for 41% of their journeys.

The report found that the number of trips made in London each day has increased by 8% since 2000. However, traffic on London’s roads fell by 6% in the same period, while traffic across Great Britain’s roads increased by nearly 8%.

The report also finds that there has been a growth in public transport capacity in the capital in the last decade, with 32% more bus kilometres and 9% more underground train kilometres being operated in 2009/10 compared to 2000/01.  

Transport demand in London is growing again following the recession, the report states. There was a 5% increase in tube, rail and bus ridership year on year in 2010, based on August 2010 figures, and record numbers of Tube journeys were made in November 2010 – in the four weeks to 13 November, London Underground carried just over 90M passenger journeys and 6.7M passenger journeys were made on the DLR. This followed a 0.4% fall in total journeys in London in 2009.

Publishing the report, the London mayor Boris Johnson’s transport advisor Kulveer Ranger said the increase in demand demonstrates the need for continued investment in London’s transport network. “The mayor is clear that there is still much more we can do,” he said. “The iron will he showed in negotiations with the government to protect the funding for future Tube upgrades and Crossrail will prove vital in years to come. We live in a city that continues to grow and it is crucial we make the improvements necessary for ever greater numbers of Londoners to get around the capital.

“The continuing growth in demand for public transport reinforces the need for investment in London’s transport networks. Working with the mayor and London businesses, we successfully campaigned to secure vital investment to take forward the upgrade of the Tube, the construction of Crossrail and maintain frontline services on the extensive bus network and expand London’s popular Barclays cycle hire.”

The report also contains a summary of early results from the mayor’s 2010 Year of Cycling, which saw the launch of the Barclays cycle hire scheme in July, on which there has been almost 2M journeys. In total, around half a million journeys a day were made by bicycle in London in 2009, up 5% from 2008. 

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