Residents of the London boroughs of Southwark and Tower Hamlets lead the way nationally with regard to walking, according to figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The DfT’s official walking and cycling figures for 2014/15 show that for both boroughs, the percentage of adults walking at least five times a week was 68.1%, compared to the national average of 50.6%.
Southwark’s rise to joint best performing authority is thanks to a 13.7% year-on-year rise, the highest of any borough in the capital.
Nine out of the top 10 English ‘walking’ local authorities are in London, with Hammersmith and Fulham third (68%) and Kensington and Chelsea fourth (67.5%).
Nationally, there has been what the DfT describes as a ‘statistically significant increase’ in the percentage of people walking ‘frequently’.
Figures for 2014/15 show that 50.6% of people walked at five times a week, up 6.9% from 2012/13. Over the same period, the percentage of people walking at least three times a week rose by 7.1% to 61.8%, while those who walk at least once a week rose by 3.3% to 80.6%.
The DfT says these changes were were largely driven by an increase in people walking for utility purposes such as commuting and to the shops.
When it comes to cycling, nationally there was relatively little change, with cycling levels down 0.3% year-on-year.
In 2014/15, 9.5% of adults cycled at least once a week, 4.4% at least three times a week and 2.6% at least five times a week.
However, the London Borough of Wandsworth saw the biggest year-on-year increase in the percentage of adults cycling at least once a month – a rise of 12.5% to 30.7%.
This was not enough to see it become London’s top-performing cycling borough; that accolade went to Richmond upon Thames at 33.1%, compared with a national average of 14.7%.
13 July 2016