Cycle superhighways: are they a joke?

That’s the most common question asked in the responses to the London Assembly transport committee survey

Thanks to Jim who pointed out in the comments to the Cycle Superhighways Report post that the raw data from the survey is actually publicly available for us to play with.  (I <3 data, so Jim’s London geo data visualisation blog is the latest addition to my googlereader.)

The GLA have kindly published the raw data from the survey online:

I’ve done some quick sums, which indicate that you’re right about the difference between the two routes. Of the 135 respondents who said they used SH3, 53% said they felt safer, compared to 36% of the 303 who used SH7.

You can do a variety of other breakdowns from the raw data if you’re interested. And the ‘other comments’ parts are fascinating.

So users of the more off-road CS3 have a more favourable view of the relative safety of their route than the main-road CS7 users, though even on CS3 TfL can hardly claim an overwhelmingly positive response.

The other thing that interested me was the group of 11 respondents who said that they had taken up cycling because of the Superhighways — which superhighway had converted them.  Well it’s 4 of the 135 CS3 users and 6 of the 303 CS7 users.  One person who said that they had taken up cycling because of the cycle superhighways stated that they had not used either (“none in the area I want to ride”).  Of the 4 CS3 users, however, two said that they had been cycling in London for longer than 6 months, and one of those had only used CS3 once, so perhaps they had clicked the wrong options.  Of the 11 individuals who stated that the cycle superhighways converted them to cycling only 5 use them more than once a week.  Note that a number of people stated that both the bike hire and superhighways together converted them to cycling — 14 CS7 users and one “occasional” CS3 user.

I don’t know what these numbers mean.  CS7 is better at converting people to cycling than CS3?  People in the CS3 catchment area were already cycling on its precursor segregated bike paths so there was nobody to convert?  They might mean nothing at all, the numbers are really too small for any serious scholarly analysis.

Below the fold are a few quotes from the responses… Continue reading “Cycle superhighways: are they a joke?”