Are cycling numbers in Perth declining?

How many people ride bicycles into the CBD?

Probably no more than 11000, and between 2009 and 2011 the number may have declined. This is about 30% less than the figures used in the West Australian Bike Network Plan.


The confusion of figures…

The ABS figures show 7240 commuting trips per day for 2006 (compared to the probably overstated  Department of Transport (DoT) figures of approx 10000 commuters per day into the CBD)


The DoT figures show about 3 mio total trips for 2010, counted using the PSP counters, or about 8219 per day average.


The highest average month is March, yielding about 11000 trips per day. As most people ride both in and out and crossing the same counter each time, these figures should be  reduced by 50%  to get the number of commuters . (I actually cross two counters on the way in, two on the way home, so in my case I get counted four times each day)


The report Monitoring of the Perth Bicycle Network,2010,by Paul Roberts and Libby Rodwell,for Department of Transport shows:


Totals Baselines                                    2009                       2010

Total Group A counts 1044                  2144                       1654

Total Group B counts 1356                  5015                        4625

Total Group A and B 2400                    7159                       6279

Fremantle Cordon 944                          1889                        1794

Perth Cordon 2672                               14064                     14837

Total all counts 6016                             23112                     22910


The 2010  yearly count show a slight decrease (0.8%) for the overall cordon counts from 2009, whilst the Perth Cordon count is marginally up. The West Australian Bike Network chart shows an increase, with a total of 16000 trips.

The report Monitoring of the Perth Bicycle Network,2011, by Chris Batini, shows:

2010 2011
For the 3 hour Perth CBD Cordon Count 8660 6586
For the 12 hour Perth CBD Cordon Count 6177 7140
14837 13726
Reduce 12 hour count by 50% 3088
Possible bike commuters 11749

As I understand it, the 3 and 12 hour counts are done the same day, during the same time, and would include possible duplications, for instance a rider coming in over the Windan Bridge (2a) is likely to use the Claisebrook Rd pedestrian bridge as well. Also, the 12 hour count would capture both commuters coming into the CBD, and the same commuters leaving again and thus should be reduced by 50%.

This leads me to suggest that in the best month in 2010 no more than 11000 people were using a bicycle to commuting into the CBD.

Another observation is that using this small subsection of the Monitoring report, actual numbers from 2009 to 2011 might have been declining (based on the reduction in the overall figures declining from 2009 to 2010, and the Perth CBD Cordon total figures declining from 2010 to 2011).

These are actual trips, not the proportion of all trips. With car traffic increasing in these three years, it would indicate that cycling as a proportion of all trips declined in that time.



About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling