Cycling Officially Replaces Cars as Number One Form of Transport in Copenhagen
The Danish capital cements its position as a cycling utopia as bikes overtake cars for the first time
Most will know that Copenhagen is somewhat of a cycling utopia – and statistics have shown that there are now more bikes being used than cars to get around the Danish capital.
The authorities have been measuring traffic entering the city, with 252,600 cars entering the area compared to 265,700 bicycles, a rise of 35,080 cycles and the first time that bikes have outweighed motorised vehicles in the city since records began in 1970.
Of course, this hasn’t happened by accident. Local authorities in Copenhagen have invested the equivalent of £120 million towards cycling infrastructure in Copenhagen, including the construction and development of 17 bicycle bridges between 2006 and 2019 that prioritise city centre access for bikes and don’t require them to meet other traffic.
There’s nothing particularly glamorous about the infrastructure in Copenhagen – it’s just all so cycling friendly.
They have arrays of train coaches dedicated to those who might want to take the rails to work but cycle home for example, have made cycling and walking the easiest and most convenient way to get into town and created plenty of parking spaces for your bike around the city.
Copenhagen is notably quieter than most in Britain as a result of the cycling and more than twice the amount of people cycling are woman than in the UK. More than 50 percent of children ride to school every day and obesity is almost half that of the UK as well.
More than 50% of all trips within the city centre in Copenhagen are made on bike – higher even than Amsterdam’s 48%.
Back in 2015, UK Minister of State for cycling Robert Goodwill ventured out to Copenhagen to view the progress and was blown away by the results.
“It was rather a shock to see just how many people were cycling," he admitted. “When I say people, I mean just that – ordinary people in ordinary clothes; people of all ages, people with young children and a lot of women.
“The other thing that struck me was that if all of those people on their bikes had been in cars, the place would have been completely jammed. So I think motorists understand that having all these people on bikes understand that having all these people on bikes actually gives them more space to get around.
“The problem we have in Britain is that we should have started 30 years ago. That means we need to re-double our efforts to ensure we get what the Prime Minister [David Cameron at the time] called a ‘cycling revolution’ in the UK, so we can come here without having to hang our heads in shame a little bit.
“I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen in Copenhagen, and that’s given me an additional feeling of wanting to re-double our efforts back home."
While Copenhagen is quickly establishing itself as the city cycling centre of the world though, bicycle use is actually down elsewhere in Denmark.