National recognition for City of Sydney's bicycling vision

The Australian Bicycling Achievement Awards have recognised Clover Moore for her achievements towards developing the 200km Sydney cycleway network. Sydney’s Lord Mayor received the Award for Contribution by a Politician  at a ceremony in Canberra yesterday and attended by federal parliamentarians and representatives from national organisations and peak bodies in health, transport and the bicycle industry.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said cyclists are voting with their feet – more and more riders are using Sydney’s cycleways.

“Most riders use our cycleways to commute to and from work, in the morning and evening peak hours when congestion on our roads is heaviest – and the more people who ride during those times, the bigger the impact on reducing traffic and congestion,” said the Lord Mayor.

“This is about the future and building a viable network that will become a normal part of city life in the years ahead.”

The national award presentation follows the launch of a national survey conducted by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Cycling Promotion Fund that found more than 62% of Australians want to be able to ride a bike for transport, but road safety fears are keeping bikes in the shed and off the road.

“The data should provide critical support to the leaders of Australia’s major cities, like Clover Moore, who are moving to establish active travel networks to relieve the looming crisis in urban congestion and address many of the related issues facing Australians such as physical inactivity, obesity and quality of life issues in our cities,” said Mr Stephen Hodge, spokesperson for the CPF

“Our national survey found the main reasons why people were not riding bikes were unsafe road conditions; the speed or volume of traffic; they don’t feel safe riding and a lack of bicycle lanes and trails, all of which are addressed by the cycleway network being built by the City of Sydney.

“The Award recognises Clover Moore for her commitment to removing the barriers that prevent Sydney residents for being able to choose their bicycle for short trips and for commuting.

“Along with the many other achievements recognised in the ten national Awards, Clover Moore’s Award recognises her significant commitment to making Sydney a healthier and more liveable city” Mr Hodge added.

More facts from the survey

–          Those who ride a bike for transport typically ride on quiet roads (48%) and alone (87%), significantly outweighing those who cycled on busy roads (15%).

–          The majority of respondents cycle due to health and exercise benefits (90%) obtained from cycling but were also likely to be influenced by the economic (71%) and environmental benefits (68%).

–          Interestingly, of respondents who rode, more than 88% rode alone and less than 1% claimed to ride with more than two people, bucking the general perception that cyclists ride in big groups, taking over the road.

–          More than 60% of those surveyed wanted the Government to do more to encourage people to ride a bicycle to work and to offer incentives to get more people to use bikes for transport.

Fast Facts – General

–          In 2009 1.8 million Australians rode a bike  (ERASS Annual Report, 2009)

–          There was a 33% increase in bike riding between 2001 and 2009 (ERASS Annual Report, 2009)

–          Around 20% of all car trips to work and study in Australia are under 5km (ABS 2009) providing plenty of opportunity to make cycling a viable alternative to car use.

For more information

City of Sydney media release : 2 June 2011

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