According to a new analysis, the increase in bike lanes during the coronavirus pandemic has helped London become the busiest city in the world.
Traffic information supplier Inrix told PA news agencies that isolated spaces for cycling are one of the reasons drivers in the capital will be caught in traffic for an average of 148 hours across 2021.
This is only a 1% reduction from the pre-coronavirus pandemic level, a much smaller reduction than many other major cities around the world.
Cycling charities argued that blaming the new bike lane for causing traffic jams was “incredibly simple.”
In 2020, London was ranked as the 16th busiest city.
Last year, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, a new bicycle lane was set up in the capital to promote active travel.
Some councils have reversed the plan following opposition from drivers’ voices claiming they caused the delay, but some lanes remain.
Peter Lees, Inrix’s Operations Director, said the installation of bicycle lanes “had a negative impact on congestion.”
He states: “The use of roads is all about supply and demand.
“Demand is increasing, but if road space is shared with other modes of transportation, there will be less effective tarmac for cars, which will affect road speed and traffic congestion. “
However, Duncan Dollimore, head of the charity Cycling UK campaign, disputed this claim.
He states: “It’s very simple for Inrix to suggest that supply and demand are everything for road use, without considering how efficiently road space is being used.
“At Blackfriars Bridge, bike lanes occupy 20% of the road space, but at peak times 70% of people pass, and London’s bike lanes move people more efficiently in less space. To do.
“Inrix focuses on the tarmac available in the car. The problem is how to use and allocate that space, change mobility behaviors and reduce process congestion.
“Car dependencies are trapped in traffic. London is rebalancing roads and providing safe, healthy and space-efficient alternatives by building more bike lanes. . “
Leeds said the main reason for the surge in London’s traffic rankings was a relatively strong economic recovery from a pandemic compared to other cities around the world.
“Some might argue that it’s good to have congestion there, as it shows that the economy is recovering particularly quickly, but the downside of that is that it’s back.” He said.
Paris is second in the busiest world ranking (140 hours lost in 2021), Brussels (134 hours lost), Moscow (108 hours lost), New York (102 hours lost). ) Followed.
Glynn Barton, Director of Network Management at Transport for London (TfL), said:
“This report shows that London is less congested than in 2019, and investment in walking and cycling makes it safer and easier to choose sustainable transportation, but TfL is working with the mayor to help. London is a more environmentally friendly and less crowded city. “
Throughout the UK, drivers waste an average of 73 hours of traffic this year.
This is an increase of 36 hours from 2020, but a decrease of 42 hours compared to before Covid 2019.
Inrix estimates that this year, the financial impact of a driver being caught in a traffic jam will average £ 595 per person and £ 8 billion in the UK.
According to the company, travel to the center of big cities is still lagging behind normal levels, but small cities are experiencing a “minimal reduction in travel” and congestion levels are maintained.
This makes Cambridge the second busiest city in the UK, followed by Bristol, Exeter and Cheltenham.