London proves e-bikes are here to stay. By Hal Stevenson, senior public affairs Manager UK&I at Lime
This piece first appeared in the March edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
Cycling took hold of London last year, with journeys increasing by 40% since the start of the pandemic according to TfL. And it’s not just personal bike usage that has taken off.
Shared e-bikes have now become a critical part of London’s growing cycling ecosystem.
In the first half of 2022 alone, Lime recorded an 117% increase in e-bike rides in the capital compared to the previous year.
Of course, cycling is a great way to keep active. But its growth in popularity is also an encouraging sign that more and more people are committed to reducing their car dependency and choosing more sustainable transport options. Not to mention it’s often the quickest way to get around too.
It’s clear Londoners have caught onto this, with cyclists on shared e-bikes now a permanent feature on our roads all year round, whether it’s a heatwave in July or a frosty morning in December.
For instance, Lime saw a 37% increase in trips taken per user during October and November 2022 – compared to 2021 – proving that users are riding more regularly than previous years, even in cold and wet conditions.
These increases are built on the forward thinking, active travel and pro-climate policies being delivered in London, including the recent Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion announcement and the Mayor’s London Streetspace programme.
By continuing to disincentivise unnecessary car journeys and providing safe cycling infrastructure across the city, we can even get more people out of cars and onto bikes and other sustainable forms of transport.
These people also need space to park their bikes. As shared micromobility services are increasingly relied upon as part of daily transport routines, we need more space outside of London homes, offices and high streets reallocated from car to bike parking to support function journeys and responsible user parking.
The 2022 London cycling boom proved that sustainable and active travel is not a summer trend: it’s here to stay all year round.
Now we need to keep investing in supportive policies and infrastructure to help it reach its full potential across the capital.