The Transport Salaried Staffs Association is currently broiled in a labour dispute with the London Underground, commonly referred to as the Tube. On Monday morning a 24-hour strike affected the commute for thousands of Londoners. To avoid the clogged up roads and nightmare lines on the Tube, thousands of bicycle commuters took to the cities cycling infrastructure. The day also saw many turn to London’s self-service bicycles network, Santander cycles.

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A spokesperson for London Cycling Campaign told the Evening Standard that while exact numbers were hard to pin down there was a noticeable increase in the number of people using the cities cycling infrastructure. “We are seeing social media posts and video showing that there are significantly more people riding on the Cycle Superhighways and other key routes.”

He continued by saying that he hopes people who cycled to work because of the strike will consider continuing to do so in the future. “More people cycling in London is always a good thing. And we know from similar events in the past that many people who ride to work once continue to do so after the disruption has ended.”

A more measurable increase was reported by Transport London which said that by 11:15 am on Monday morning, 17,417 Santander cycles had been used. The record for a single January day for the bike share network was 25,000.

The dispute is over job losses and ticket office closures. The dispute is expected to continue throughout the week of strikes with three days of walkouts planned that will halt train services. The overcrowding created safety concerns in come stations including at Clapham Junction where there was an evacuation due to overcrowding. The cities roads were also gridlocked.

When compared to clogged public transportation and roads, cycling for many proved to be a quicker means to get around and thanks to the cities investment in protected cycle superhighways newcomers would have found easier ways to get to work.


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