Two Wheels Better Than Four?

Motorists prepared to get on their bikes to ride out of recession

Related Links

Wandsworth Cycling Campaign

Transport for London - Cycling

London Cycling Campaign

Sign up for a weekly newsletter from and

More than one in ten London drivers would be prepared to ride out of the recession on two-wheels, according to new research.

Londoners happy to switch to a moped or motorcycle cite costs as one of the main reasons for ditching their cars, with 11% attracted by the fuel efficiency of mopeds and motorcycles. One in five (20%) would consider two wheels for its mobility benefits and getting around London.

A spokesman for Post Office who carried out the research said, “At a time when many people are stretched financially, switching from four wheels to two is one way to save money. Using mopeds or motorcycles over the spring and summer can help reduce day-to-day transport and running costs, including insurance which could be significantly cheaper for motorcycles and mopeds than cars.”

However popular motorised two-wheeling is becoming, it’s still nowhere near as prevalent as pedalling across the capital. Figures revealed by London’s Mayor show the number of cyclists in London has soared by 83% since 2000. There are now an estimated 480,000 cycle journeys every day across town, around 30,000 more than a year ago.

And having only two wheels to park makes life so much easier, even more so after London Cycling Campaign’s (LCC) victory against legislation that could have seriously undermined the growth of cycling in the capital.

The law, had it been passed, would have allowed council contractors to remove without notice bicycles chained to railings even if they were not an obstruction or abandoned.

Speaking on behalf of LCC before the House of Lords Committee, the organisation’s counsel Ralph Smyth said, "Because of the lack of clarity as to where you could or could not park your bicycle, this aspect of the Bill would have a chilling effect on people’s desire to cycle."

Peers were told powers already exist to remove bicycles that are an obstruction or which are abandoned. The rejected law could have been applied to thousands of bikes that were not attached to bike stands.

LCC’s chief executive Koy Thomson said, “Cycle stands in London are overflowing with bikes, even in the winter. We need more bike stands, not new laws making parking more difficult.”

June 1, 2009