Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:09 UK

Massive rise in London cyclists

Man on cycle
The London Cycle Network is due to be completed in 2010

The number of people cycling in London has risen 83% in the last seven years, mayor Ken Livingstone has revealed.

Figures from Transport for London (TfL) showed almost half-a-million journeys are made by bike in London every day.

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London's roads had fallen 28% since March 2000, TfL said.

On Tuesday Mr Livingstone launched a television advertising campaign "You're better off by bike" to encourage more people to take to the saddle.

Cycling city

He said: "London is experiencing a cycling renaissance.

"We can now justifiably call ourselves a cycling city, a proposal that would have seemed ridiculous just six years ago."

He put the popularity of cycling down to record investment, a growing network of cycle and bus lanes and the increased confidence of riders.

In 2000 £5.5m was invested in cycling compared with £36m in 2007/8, with the 900km London Cycle Network due to be completed by the end of 2010.

Bike theft

Referring to the Tour de France, which arrives in London in July, Mr Livingstone said: "I hope Le Tour will inspire even more cycling and a new generation of people to take to two wheels."

A recent survey by Halifax Home Insurance showed that more bikes were stolen in central London than in the rest of England.

While praising the extra investment being made in cycling the mayor's green transport advisor Jenny Jones admitted that theft was still a problem.

She admitted having had three of her own bikes stolen in the past few years, and said the provision of cycle lanes was still erratic.

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