May 2012
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May 2012: more bikes again!!

The Spokes May 2012 Edinburgh traffic count has found yet another rise in bikes, both in total and as a % of all vehicles…

On May 15, Spokes repeated the rush-hour traffic count we have done for the last 6 years on Tuesday in mid-May and mid-November, northbound and southbound on Lothian Road and Forrest Road.  Some highlights…

  • Between 8-9am we counted 455 bikes, compared to 407 in May 2011 and 445 in November 2011
  • At these 4 locations, bikes comprised 15.0% of all vehicles – the highest ever %  – a remarkable 21.1% of all citybound vehicles and 7.0% of southbound.
  • At Forrest Road citybound, bikes were more than 1 in 4 of all vehicles.
  • At Lothian Road, one of Edinburgh’s most cycle-unfriendly streets, but an almost unavoidable access to the city centre, bikes formed a remarkable 17.7% of all citybound vehicles.
  • Total cars fell to 1791, the second-lowest level we have ever counted, continuing a gradual decline, whilst buses, taxis and other commercial vehicles rose noticeably [as a total – we count them as one combined category].
  • With the Mound now reopened to taxis, buses (and bikes) only, Forrest Road saw a rise in such vehicles as compared to November 2011, whilst cars declined further.
  • Yet again, some 75% of private cars contained only a driver – occupying far more of the precious roadspace than a person commuting by bike.

Our traffic counts web page includes full count data and a summary table of 6-year trends.  Note that the above examples all cover exactly one hour, 8-9am; our full count data also includes totals for 7.45-9.15am.

Many thanks to the Spokes volunteers who organised and participated in the count.

Why are bike numbers continuing to rise?  We speculated on the reasons in our November 2011 count article.

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