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Newsletter, October 2015 (Issue 201)

How do Copenhageners commute?


How do people get to work in Copenhagen?

5% walk, 23% arrive in a car, 27% use public transport, 45% bicycle

Why is the percentage cycling so high? Because using a car is simply a pain in the backside. Copenhagen has just overtaken Amsterdam as the number one cycling city in the world (Copenhagenize.eu). How come? Copenhagen is building a massive extension to the underground (Metro) which includes the construction of 17 new stations. At ground level it is causing a major disruption to traffic flows, (but not to the progress of bicycles). There has been a serious and noticeable modal shift from car to bike since the work started (36% - 45% of the number of people arriving at work or education, together with a drop (27% - 23%) of people using cars.

The average bicycle journey rose from 2 miles to just over 20.5 miles, (in Ipswich virtually every house inside the Borough Boundary is within 20.5 miles of the town centre). What's more, as far as Copenhagen goes, this rise in the use of bicycles is almost all new. Since 1990 the number of journeys by bicycle has risen by 70%, and the number of car commutes has fallen from 350,000 to 250,000 (the latter figure is close to the target the city set itself, the number of cars that could comfortably be accommodated on the existing road infrastructure).

Importantly the figures quoted above include all arrivals at a place of employment or education, including people who have travelled in from the surrounding districts. If we only count the number who started their journey inside the city boundary the numbers change dramatically: 63% cycle and only 10% use their car.

John Norman

    Front cover of issue 201 Cover, issue 201

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