Twice as many Sydneysiders are riding bikes for transport than the national average, according to the latest National Cycling Participation Survey.
Some 31,600 City of Sydney residents get on a bike in a typical week, the 2013 Australian Bicycle Council report said.
More than 180,000 people live in the City of Sydney, which covers 26.15 square kilometres.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney’s growing bike network was easing traffic on congested inner-city streets and taking pressure off public transport.
“This research validates our own independent bike counts across 100 Sydney intersections, which show the number of trips by bikes have more than doubled in the past three years,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Sydney’s cycleways are providing real alternatives for people to leave the car at home and help cut traffic congestion and pollution.”
“We know those numbers will keep climbing if people have safe and convenient options to support them – we just need to connect up the network.”
The report said there had been a 113 per cent jump in bike trips since March 2010. The biggest growth of 118 per cent had been in the morning peak (6-9am) and there had been a 108 per cent increase in the afternoon peak (4-7pm).
The National Cycling Participation Survey of close to 800 homes in the Sydney City Council area during March also found:
- Almost one in five residents (19 per cent) rode a bike each week, up from 14 per cent in 2011 and higher than the rest of Sydney, which averages 16 per cent;
- 40 per cent of households had bikes, up from 35 per cent two years ago;
- 22 per cent of males and 16 per cent of females rode in a typical week;
- The number of female cyclists aged 30-49 had almost doubled and there had been a sharp increase in the over-50s age group;
- 75 per cent of riders said they felt comfortable or neutral about riding in Sydney and 63 per cent felt conditions had improved in the past year;
- 63 per cent of riders felt that riding conditions had improved during the past 12 months;
- When asked what the City of Sydney should do to encourage bike riding, over 77 per cent of residents want more on-road bicycle lanes, off-road paths and cycleways.
“You only have to look at the worldwide bike boom in London, New York, Paris, Barcelona and Melbourne to realise bikes are a real transport option when the infrastructure is there – and more riders will help ease traffic congestion and pressure on public transport,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Connecting up the bike network will help the NSW Government meet its target of doubling local and district bike trips by 2016.”
Infrastructure Australia has listed the City of Sydney’s Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network project as an Early Stage project in the National Infrastructure Priority List – the first time a bicycle project has achieved that status.
The Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network (ISRBN) would give commuters a real and safe alternative to motorised transport. It is a is a radial and orbital network of 284 kilometres of high quality and safe cycleways and shared paths.
The network covers 15 council areas to provide a 10 kilometre catchment area into the city centre. It was created by combining the existing bike plans of each council, with additional work done to fill the missing links and ensure connectivity across boundaries.