New poll: Massive support for Cycle Superhighways from residents and businesses

  • yougov73% of Londoners support removing traffic lanes for cycle superhighways

  • Londoners support the plans, even if they slow traffic, by two to one

  • Over 100 leading London employers also support the plans

(Full XLS here)

The substantial majority of Londoners back plans to create two segregated Cycle Superhighways in central London, a new YouGov poll has found.

Asked if they back the new routes even if they took away traffic lanes from motor vehicles, 64 per cent of Londoners supported the plans.  24 per cent opposed them. Excluding “don’t knows”, the figures are 73 per cent supportive and 27 per cent opposed.

The Mayor of London’s ambitious Cycle Superhighway plans have been questioned by Canary Wharf Group among others over fears they will slow some motor traffic – but even then, Londoners say, the superhighways should still be built.

Asked if they back the new routes even if this meant journeys by motor vehicles took longer, 51 per cent of Londoners agreed and 26 per cent disagreed.  Excluding “don’t knows” and those who did not express a preference, the figures are 66 per cent supportive to 34 per cent opposed or roughly two to one.

The poll, of a representative sample of 1002 Londoners, was conducted between 8 and 13 October by YouGov on behalf of CyclingWorks.London, a group coordinating business responses to the cycling proposals.

More than 100 London businesses have signed up to support the implementation of the superhighways  – including RBS, Unilever, Deloitte, Orange, Land Securities, Allen & Overy and CEMEX.

Chris Kenyon, from Cycling Works, said: “The overwhelming support for the new Cycle Superhighways is clear, both from businesses and the people of London.”

“A powerful company and some lobbyists have recently used back-door attempts to stop these cycling plans.  It is now clear that those lobbying against these transformative plans are out of step with both the business community and the public.”

The two superhighways will join up existing and planned routes to create the longest substantially-segregated urban cycleway in Europe, running 18 miles from Barking to Acton.

The cycle routes will have the capacity to move 6,000 people each hour, the equivalent of 20 extra Tube trains or 82 additional London buses.

The YouGov poll found support for the Cycle Superhighways extends across all age groups, social classes and political affiliations.

Additionally, there was a strong preference for physically segregated cycle lanes of the type proposed. Only 10 per cent of Londoners say a painted cycle lane would make them feel much safer and 23 per cent say it would make them feel a little safer, versus a total of 51 per cent who say it would not make them safer.

By contrast, 74 per cent say a physically segregated lane would make them feel safer.

The poll also found that 71 per cent of Londoners never drive in central London, and only 7 per cent drive in the city centre once a week or more.  The vast majority of journeys to, from and within central London are made by public transport or bike.

Chris Kenyon said: “Most of the people who took part in this poll are not regular cyclists. Londoners have demonstrated that they understand more people cycling is better for everyone because it means less pressure on the bus, less pressure on the Tube and more pleasant streets at the heart of what is a globally competitive city.”