Report reveals spending of $ 4 million on cycling infrastructure

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State and local governments across Australia spent more than $ 4 million on cycling-related infrastructure and programs in 2020, according to the first national report on the cycling economy in Australia.

The Ernst & Young report, commissioned by cycling advocacy group We Ride Australia, provides an overview of the scope of the national cycling economy.

Based on available data, he estimated that Australian state and local government spending on cycling infrastructure and initiatives to defend and promote cycling in their regions was around $ 428 million last year. .

However, this was probably a conservative estimate.

“Since a significant proportion of cycling-related infrastructure spending is on larger transport projects, this may be a conservative estimate,” the report says.

Economic contribution of $ 16.8 billion

Analysis shows that last year, the cycling economy made a total economic contribution of $ 16.8 billion to the economy and supported 34,295 jobs.

Some 5.8 million Australians, or nearly one in three adults, have spent money on cycling-related goods and services, with around 1.7 million bicycles purchased nationwide.

NSW and Victoria had the most bicycle consumers.

When launching the report in Canberra this week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it offered compelling statistics on the economic and employment performance of the cycling industry.

“We can use this data to increase investment in cycling infrastructure,” he said.

“More and more people are commuting to work by bicycle, so they will need to have the necessary cycle paths and cycle paths.

“These figures speak in favor of cycling infrastructure. I’m all for getting on the bike because it’s good for the economy.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg launches Australia’s Cycling Economy Report on October 20, 2021.

Active transport infrastructure

Cycling can also benefit health and well-being, reduce road congestion and provide a sustainable transportation option, according to the report, and an additional $ 118 million could be generated each year by improving bicycle lanes in areas. urban.

The most popular form of cycling is recreational road cycling, according to the report, with 69% of regular cyclists.

The most common reason for cycling was exercise and fitness, followed by social reasons, including spending time with friends and family, and as a mode of transportation.

The report says the increase in cycling will depend on active transportation infrastructure, cycling campaigns and programs, and safety initiatives.

More infrastructure will boost cycling

The main drivers of the increase in cycling included the presence of bicycle lanes in urban areas, more dedicated off-road bicycle lanes, and bicycle lanes better connected to transport and activity centers.

The removal of heavy vehicles from the road and tax incentives for buying bicycles would also have an effect, according to the report.

Fifty-five percent of cyclists who cycle at least once a fortnight said they would make at least two more trips per week if cycling infrastructure were better, and 62 percent of people who cycle once a month have stated that they would increase their bike by 4.3 trips.

It is estimated that 69% of Australian cyclists would be encouraged to ride more if they felt safer sharing the road with car traffic.

Sixty percent said they would be encouraged to cycle more if there were fewer heavy vehicles.

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