"For every four people that would consider riding their bike to work, only one actually does on a regular basis”.
Transport Canberra’s new report Keeping Canberra Moving had some interesting figures about the behaviour of people who ride bicycles, and those who would if it were more convenient.
“The Keeping Canberra Moving report indicates that if we build safe and convenient infrastructure, people will change their behaviour” said Pedal Power Executive Officer John Armstrong. “It is yet more evidence that - by the government’s own research – there needs to be substantial investment in cycling-related infrastructure to make cycling a safe and convenient means of transport in Canberra”.
Transport Canberra aims to shape the way our community moves into the future. So it is very relevant that a recent survey found that 75% of respondents have access to a bicycle and 20% would consider riding to work. Yet only 5% actually do.
73% of households with children reported that their children travel to school by car, and 23% by bus. 40% of these would be very unlikely to encourage their children to use active transport – like walking or cycling - to get to school.
The report recognised that active transport plays a crucial role in personal, social and recreational trips around Canberra and is the key to tackling our growing obesity epidemic and reducing the incidence of many preventable diseases.
At Pedal Power we regard the fact that so many of us know we are able to cycle and walk for transport as very positive. One way the Government can encourage this is by investing in cycling infrastructure around the planned light rail.
The light rail network consultation highlighted the need for government to provide better cycling infrastructure leading to light rail stops, along with more Bike-and-Ride facilities and allowing bikes on the light rail vehicles.
Some sobering findings from the report:
- With the highest car dependency of any Australian capital city, our growing population will mean more cars on our roads and more congestion
- In the next 20 years the population of our city is set to increase by a third, with over 500,000 people to call Canberra home by 2035
- Nationally, Canberra has the second lowest usage of public transport but the highest cycling rate and second highest walking rate
- Without additional investment, the cost of road congestion in the ACT will increase from $208 million per annum in 2011 to $703 million per annum in 2031
For more information about the report and how the research was conducted, read the report here.