Record number of trips on Sydney’s cycleways

It’s official – thousands more Sydneysiders are riding than ever before.

Independent bike counts show an 82 per cent increase in bike trips over the past two years. The challenge is now on the State Government to support the growth.

The study shows an increase of 83 per cent in the morning peak (6am-9am) and 82 per cent in the afternoon peak (4pm-7pm) during the period March 2010 to March 2012 (numbers counted over the six hours, from 6am-9am and 4pm-7pm).

These figures show our work to make bike riding safer and more practical is paying off. The old saying – ‘if you build it, they will come’ is true. Sydneysiders are desperate for practical transport options and, for many people, bike riding makes sense.

The State Government now needs to support this enormous growth by working with the City and other Councils to expand the network, which will encourage even more people to take up riding – a key target in their own draft Transport Masterplan.

The NSW Government wants to more than double the bicycle mode share of all trips shorter than 10 kilometres by 2016 … Cycling and walking have become increasingly popular… There are opportunities to maintain this trend by improving, connecting and expanding cycling and walking networks, making them easier to use, safer and more accessible.

The City is developing a safe and convenient bike network, made up of different types of bike paths, including 55 kilometres of separated cycleway. So far 10 kilometres of separated cycleways (including three kilometres in the CBD) have been built with a further 2.5 kilometres in design or consultation phases.

Nearly half of all car trips in metropolitan Sydney are less than five kilometres – just a short bike ride – so riding a bike is a real transport option if the right conditions are created.

Since the counts began in 2010, there has been a 120 per cent average increase in bike trips on Bourke Road cycleway and an 89 per cent average increase on the Bourke Street cycleway. Other bike count figures at key intersections include:

  • Pyrmont Bridge, where counts have risen from 1,272 to 2,308 in the past two years, an 81 per cent increase
  • Kent Street/Clarence Street intersection, where counts have risen from 894 to 1,962, a 119 per cent increase
  • College Street/Oxford Street intersection, where counts have risen from 641 to 1,795 a 180 per cent increase
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge cycle ramp, where counts have risen from 1,351 to 1,730, a 28 per cent increase
  • Taylor Square, where counts have risen from 1,046 to 1,728, a 65 per cent increase in the past two years.

Bikes are counted at 100 intersections around the City during the morning and evening travel times on weekdays. The counts carried out by an independent survey company SkyHigh Traffic.

We recently installed 12 permanent in-ground counters around the City so counts can be taken year-round and throughout the day.

I hope this new data is compelling enough for the Premier to look beyond the headlines and to start investing in smart, efficient and sustainable infrastructure.

For more information about the city’s bike network, visit sydneycycleways.net

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