On 28-29 July, London’s streets will reverberate to the sound of cyclists as Prudential RideLondon returns for its sixth edition.
Introduced in 2013 by the Mayor of London and his agencies, Prudential RideLondon exists as a direct consequence of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and has become a firmly-established date in London’s sporting calendar. Delivered as part of the Mayor and Transport for London’s cycling programme, the event enjoys an international reputation as one of the world’s foremost festivals of cycling.
Almost a million people cycle regularly in London, including over 9% of the capital’s population who regularly cycle for travel – a figure that stands more than 2% higher than the national average. Indeed, cycling is written into the heart of London’s future, with the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy including a target for 80% of all trips in London to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041.
Targets like these are vital for London – both in terms of their ability to support ambitions to make London the most active city in the world, and because of the direct positive impact that walking and cycling (active travel) has on its users. As the Mayor’s Transport Strategy correctly highlights, the majority of people are able to meet the levels of physical activity recommended for health through walking or cycling their existing journeys alone. Combined with the environmental benefits of non-motorised transport modes, the value of cycling in London is vast.
And London truly is ahead of the curve. Analysis conducted during the first year of the Active Citizens Worldwide initiative reveals that cycling is the second most prominent form of physical activity in London by % of total activity, behind only walking. In comparison, cycling is just the fifth most regular activity in Singapore and falls outside of the top 5 activities entirely in Auckland. Alongside London’s strategies, infrastructure investments and various cycle-access schemes, the city’s growing cultural affinity for cycling is borne out in its adoption of major professional and mass participation events.
This year’s Prudential RideLondon is expected to see more than 100,000 participants across seven different events, including the family-friendly FreeCycle which provides a traffic-free route through central London open to all, the London-Surrey 100 offering amateur cyclists a route similar to the London 2012 Olympic road races, and the Prudential RideLondon Classique, the world’s richest women’s one-day race in cycling.
For more information on the Prudential RideLondon 2018 edition, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk