The Federal Government has released its Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport draft report.
The report says currently driving remains the dominant mode of travel to work or study for most Australian adults, even for short distances.
It found 14 per cent of the adult population drove less than five kilometres each way to work or study and another 16.5 per cent drive between five and 10 kilometres.
Of commuters travelling less than five kilometres to work or study, 19.3 per cent walk, 3.9 per cent ride, 7.2 per cent use public transport and just under 70 per cent travel by car.
Of those travelling between five and 10 kilometres, 2.0 per cent ride, 14.9 per cent use public transport and nearly 83 per cent drive.
“The net health benefit, adjusted for injury, for each kilometre cycled is 75 cents – about half of the total economic benefits of a typical bikeway project.
“Australia is now one of the most overweight nations in the OECD, with more than 60 per cent of adults and one in four children being overweight or obese. In 2008 obesity was estimated to cost $58.2 billion to the economy due to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, various cancers and osteoarthritis.
“The combined environmental benefits of reducing noise and greenhouse gas emissions, and improving air quality, equates to around 5.9 cents per kilometre walked or cycled.”
“Bicycle riding can be suitable for regular trips up to 20 minutes (five kilometres). Whilst longer distances are possible, it is unlikely to appeal to a majority of the population. Many of the qualities that make a place attractive for walking also make it more attractive for riding. Riding is more common in areas with well-connected bicycle pathways that allow people to ride from door to door safely and easily, and where secure facilities for parking are available.”
“Walking and riding as means of transport can provide many benefits for individuals, families, businesses and local communities. They can improve an individual’s health and wellbeing, increase neighbourhood interaction, reduce household travel costs and relieve local traffic congestion.
Feedback on the report can be submitted until 31 January 2013.