Popularity of two-wheel commute is still growing
CYCLING is a means of transportation for a growing number of Sydneysiders as an expanding network of cycleways encourages people on to two wheels.
The number of people cycling as a means of transport has doubled over the past three years and more than 7000 people cycle to work in the city each day.
“That’s enough to fill 116 buses,” says Fiona Campbell, manager of cycling strategy for City of Sydney.
According to Campbell, this is a marked shift in a city where, up until recent years, cycling was just a sport or hobby for most people.
“We’ve found that wherever we’ve put in infrastructure, three or four times as many people are riding along that route,” she says.
This is reflected in the findings behind the NSW Government’s Sydney’s Cycling Future report, that 70 per cent of NSW res- idents would like to ride a bike more for everyday transport if it were safer and more convenient.
If even a fraction of these people were to get on a bike, it could have a big impact on Sydney’s traffic, Campbell says.
“If 5 or 10 per cent more people rode to work instead of driving, that school holiday effect where there’s less traffic could happen every day of the week,” she says.
As state and local governments con- tinue to invest in new cycling infrastructure, and on closing the gaps between existing paths, this traffic-free vision is becoming clearer.
Events such as the forthcoming Spring Cycle also play a part.
“People have tended to stop riding once they get their driver’s licence,’’ Campbell says.
“This is the perfect time to get the old bike out of the shed and give it a go.”