Monday, 9 October 2017

Four years of the Goldsmith's Row cycle counter

I wrote about the Goldsmith's Row cycle street and the cycle counter located on it almost exactly two years ago. The cycle counter has now been there for four years, providing an exact count of the number of cycle trips occurring on this road during that time.

Once again I have worked out the average number of trips made by bicycle each workday, each day at the weekend and also the average for each week in every month. I've also totalled up the number of trips in each calendar month. For ten days in March of this year the cycle counter did not work and recorded zero trips for that period so whilst the average number of trips should be about right, the total number recorded for that month is lower than it actually would have been.

Each year follows roughly the same pattern; the average number of cycle trips is between 3000-4000 each weekday at the beginning of the year, rising above 4000 from June to September in 2014 (except in August), from June to October in 2015, from April to October in 2016 and from May this year. It then dips back down to between 3000-4000 at the end of the year and then between 2000-3000 in every December in all four years

 At the weekend the figure is mostly around 1000-1500 each day during the winter and then above or around 2,000 during the summer, with the exception 2017 where June is the only month (so far) that has averaged above 2,000

The average number of cycle trips per week follows a similar pattern to the average per day and is always between 20,000 and 30,000 except for in every December and in January 2014 and 2017

And then monthly totals also follow the same pattern of being higher in the summer and lower in the winter. There is no change since my last post about this counter; July 2014 remains the month with highest figure when nearly 130,000 cycle trips were made with December 2013 also still the lowest with just over 65,000 trips. The total number of trips per month was always above 100,000 from March to October in 2014, from April to October in both 2015 and 2016 and above 100,000 in each month from May onwards in 2017.

Each year the total number of cycle trips along Goldsmith's Row is roughly 1.2 million

The figures for 2016 to 2017 are wrong of course as the counter didn't count anyone for ten days. If I look at the data for the same ten days in the other three years I have concluded that roughly 31,190 people would have passed through in the time (give or take a few thousand) and so have added that on to try and get a more accurate number, although this still falls short of 1.2 million

Both these yearly totals and the averages show that each year the number of people cycling on Goldsmith's Row has decreased by a small amount. I've been thinking why this could be; young people priced out of the borough and moving further away into areas like Waltham Forest? Young Europeans leaving the UK due to Brexit? With the recent construction of protected cycle tracks nearby are people using a different route? I used to cycle to work along Hackney Road, very close to this counter but since last summer I've shifted over to the much more pleasant CS2 route along the A11 instead. However the decrease is not substantial and it would only take between 50 and 100 more cycle trips here each day to see an increase, so it'll be intriguing to see the figures for next year and weather the decrease in cycling is a trend or a blip.

The total number of cycles passing the counter from installation day on August 12th 2013 to the end of August 2017 was 4,844,422 (although had the counter worked for those ten days this would be closer to 4.87 million). It will tick past the 5 million barrier one day next week (most likely between Thursday and Sunday) but had it been working for those ten days this year then bicycle number 5,000,000 would have peddled past at some point this week.

The ten lowest daily totals were all recorded on either Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Years' Day

Ten lowest daily totals:

01/01/14 256
26/12/14 292
25/12/15 300
01/01/17 318
26/12/13 321
26/12/16 349
26/12/15 359
25/12/16 369
25/12/13 415
25/12/14 419

As for the highest count days once again there is no change since my last post; the 3rd June 2014 remains the highest total with 6,624 trips recorded. Although as I explained then I think this was an error with the counter and the amount was actually lower but I could be completely wrong about that. The next highest total is 6,380 on the 9th July 2015 which was the day a tube strike shut down the entire underground network. These are the only two days where more than 6,000 cycle trips have been counted.

Ten highest daily totals:

03/06/14 6624
09/07/15 6380
20/08/13 5825
19/07/16 5817
21/08/13 5785
17/09/13 5778
13/09/16 5706
06/08/15 5643
20/07/16 5630
01/07/15 5490

Last time I wrote about this cycle counter Goldsmith's Row was London Cycle route 9 but is now Q13, part of the Central London cycle grid. This means that councils are awarded funding from Transport for London's 'vision for cycling' budget to improve these routes for cyclists. Tower Hamlets have improved Columbia Road recently, which connects to Goldsmith's Row as part of the grid (although this route is closed on Sundays and not particularly quiet on weekdays). It used to have very roughly laid cobbles making it uncomfortable to ride on. Now this road has smooth cycle lanes at each side of the road with the cobbles retained in the middle to slow down motor traffic

Before and after on Columbia Road

 It is a very nice upgrade, the only issues are no enforcement of parking on it and it can still be quite busy but filtering Ropley Street to through motor traffic would easily solve that. Hackney Council have also made improvements to the crossing of Hackney Road by bringing the pedestrian crossing alongside the cycle crossing. It used to be located about 20 feet away and so pedestrians just used the cycle crossing instead

Not quite sure why Hackney Council have painted "Q2" here as this is not Q2!

These improvements are welcome but I really wish so much resource was not being spent on quietways. Hackney Road badly needs protected cycle tracks along it, as agreed by Hackney Council in 2015. This could link up with the Clerkenwell Boulevard creating the West End - Old Street - Olympic Park Cycle corridor as suggested in the 2014-2024 cycle plan. An upgraded cycle route along the B108 as proposed by Tower Hamlets Council would then also create a link from this route (and from Hackney Central) south to CS2, CS3 and create safe routes for staff and visitors to The Royal London Hospital. I truly believe if this happened then the numbers on the cycle counter would rise dramatically.   

You can follow the Goldsmith's Row cycle counter totals daily via twitter

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