London town centres: cyclists and pedestrians are more important than car users

Chris Peck's picture
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Research conducted by Transport for London has revealed that although cyclists and pedestrians spend less per visit than car users, they visit more often and therefore tend to spend more per week.
Cycle parking inside a shopping centre in the Netherlands
Cycle parking inside a shopping centre in the Netherlands

The research, conducted in a handful of London's town centre areas found that per visit cyclists spent on average £21, less than car (£41), walk (£26) bus (£32) or tube/train (£38).

However, because cyclists and pedestrians visit their town centres much more often than car users, the per week figures that different mode users spent are:

  • Cycle - £47
  • Car - £56
  • Train/tube - £59
  • Bus - £70
  • Walk - £93

The research also found that the proportion accessing town centres by car is steadily dropping - in 2011 only 14% drove to their town centre area, compared with 20% in 2009.

In some places car use is very low - only 2% of shoppers in Oxford Street arrived by car. In Clapham Junction 7% arrived by cycle, compared with just 4% by car.

After 'a better range of shops' and 'cleaner streets' the highest priority for improvement was 'less traffic'.

CTC suggests that town centres should do more to prioritise sustainable travel, given that it already forms the bulk of travellers to town centres and the users of those modes tend to spend as much if not more on goods.

1111_tfl_town-centre-study_rep.pdf1.96 MB
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