More Sydneysiders than ever are embracing cycling, with one in three bike owners now leaving their cars at home and riding to work, school, university or TAFE.
The findings come from an independent study commissioned by the City of Sydney comparing responses from 2006 and 2009.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the findings show that using a bicycle can be an efficient, cheap and healthy transport option for those not wanting to be stuck in traffic.
"This research not only shows more people are using bicycles, but indicates rates would be even higher if there were separated from traffic and had end-of-trip facilities like bike parking, lockers and showers.
"Our cycle strategy, which will see $76 million invested over four years, recognises the importance of building cycleways separated from traffic and pedestrians where possible to make bicycle riding a viable transport alternative," Ms Moore said.
The Taverner research also found:
- One in three City of Sydney riders ride more than 20 times per month;
- 80% say they'd be more inclined to cycle on safe separated cycleways and /or dedicated bike lanes;
- 2 in 3 potential bicycle riders would be more likely to ride regularly on separated bike paths or dedicated bike lanes;
- 64% of regular riders only started riding a bike in the last five years;
- Just over half of regular riders polled ride to work, school, university or TAFE;
- 61% think they'll feel more comfortable on a bike as the number of bicycles on the road increase;
The research also found that more riders would take up cycling if the City and businesses provided the infrastructure to make cycling a preferred method of transport with:
- 68% of non-regular bike riders said they would be more inclined to ride more often if they had access to bike parking or lockers;
- 45% of non-regular riders would be more likely to ride to work if they could take part in bike hire schemes;
- 69% of occasional or non-riders would consider riding to work if there were shower facilities.
This research follows the latest Christie report which predicts a 23 per cent growth rate in traffic over the next 15 years, costing a staggering $7.8 billion per year, while the number of people walking and cycling is expected to skyrocket by 233 per cent.
"The City is doing all it can to create the infrastructure to make it easy for people to switch to cycling as a more sustainable transport option and help relieve pressure on our congested roads.
"Cycleways will actually make it easier for other road users travelling longer distances to get where they need to go faster.
"Cycling addresses three key issues afflicting our community - traffic congestion, global warming and obesity," Ms Moore said.
A bike count on the City's newest separated cycleway in Bourke Road showed 250 bike riders used the route in a six hour period, over one bike per minute in the peak - a 30 per cent increase in the past month.