Based on 2011 census figures over 73’000 people cycle daily to work in Australia, with an average return trip length of 9.2 km. With a net benefit of $1.43 km, the Australian economy benefits nearly $1 million per day!
1,300,000 adults live less than 10 km from work. If we could get about a quarter of them to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car, the Australian economy could benefit by $1 BILLION per year.
More information on the benefits of cycling: Benefits of Cycling for Transport – Sara Stace – 2015
Cycling advocates from Australia got together in Canberra 3/4th of March 2015 to promote the benefits of cycling for Australia, focusing on infrastructure, health and safety challenges. These issues were discussed with Federal parliamentarians at a formal dinner in parliament house, and next day in more intimate discussions with individual members of the lower and upper house.
Challenge:Transport congestion and a lack of comprehensive active travel infrastructure is having a significant impact on national productivity at an estimated cost of $20 billion per annum by 2020.
Solution: Ensure that infrastructure projects funded through transport investment programs reflect all transport modes including riding and walking infrastructure as part of the works.
Challenge: While the overall road toll has decreased by 3.7 per cent per year, bicycle rider fatalities have risen by around 7.4 per cent year on year over the past five years.
Solution: Carry out a broader safety review including directing your department to support the Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group to assess a minimum overtaking distance as part of the Model Australian Road Rules.
Half of the States and Territories have already adopted or committed to trialling safe overtaking rules to protect bicycle riders.
Challenge: Inactivity related illnesses are on track to become the biggest killer of Australians at a cost of $58 billion in indirect costs per annum.
Solution: Australia needs a national approach to physical inactivity to address chronic diseases. The national approach should prioritise the active travel options of riding and walking.