Cycling participation embarrassing

Bicycle Network is deeply disturbed by today's Cycling Participation Survey results, which show the absolute failure of the National Cycling Strategy 2011–2016.

While the 2017 Austroads survey results show that 3.47 million Australians ride a bike every week, it's a significant decline when compared with 4 million in 2015 and even less than the participation levels recorded in 2011. This means that across the country, only 15.5% of Australians ride a bike each week. The government target which aimed to double participation by 2016 was set at 36%.

All states except for NT and ACT saw drops in participation, but NSW fared the worst. The survey showed that people in NSW riding in a typical week has dropped to 12.5% this year, from almost 17% in 2015. Cycling participation has also decreased in both Greater Sydney (10% from 13% in 2015) and regional NSW (16% from 23% in 2015).

However, an active investment in connected bike infrastructure within the City of Sydney is paying off. 20% of Sydney residents ride a bike in a typical week, up from 14% in 2015. Imagine how many more people will ride if King Street and College Street cycleways are built (or rebuilt).  

A large proportion of the blame for Australia's cycling decline must sit squarely on the shoulders of consecutive state and federal governments who have failed to give people who ride the infrastructure, policy and laws they’ve been crying out for.

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Craig Richards said that state and federal governments must hang their heads in shame.

“The latest results from the Cycling Participation Survey are shattering. While bike riding across the world grows, Australia’s participation languishes and falls away – we should be embarrassed.”

“For years people who ride bikes have been desperate for more places to ride, but our calls have continually fallen on deaf ears.”

“The federal government talks of livable communities, improving Australia's transport mix and promoting active travel, but today’s results show that's all it is – talk, and it’s not good enough.”

Two thirds of Australians currently don't get enough physical activity to maintain their health. Bicycle Network is calling on the federal government for urgent and transformative action for the future health and happiness of our communities. 

#Togetherwecan build more places for people to ride and turn Australia into a nation of bike riders.