As demand for bikes grow, so does need for investment
The rising popularity of cycling and e-bikes as both commuter and recreational vehicles, has highlighted the need for investment.
RACV has joined forces with the AAA and is urging the Federal Government to get on their bikes and fund cycling infrastructure to encourage further take-up of cycling.
Bicycle sales hit 1.7 million last year, after hovering around the 1.1-1.2 million mark for the previous decade, as people looked for an exercise activity and commuting option that complied with social distancing.
The uptake of two-wheeled transport has fuelled a call for investment into cycling infrastructure and safety as part of the RACV's seven key policy priorities ahead of the 2022 Federal Election.
RACV Executive General Manager of Motoring and Mobility, Phil Turnbull, said cyclists need better routes and resources to maintain the pedal-powered momentum.
“The plan also includes improving cycling infrastructure within and leading to inner city Melbourne and regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, including the 17 key metropolitan strategic cycling corridors recommended by RACV, increased physical separation and protected intersections on principal cycling routes,” Turnbull said.
Cycling in the city
An RACV commissioned report identified the 17 strategic cycling corridors within a 10km radius of the central business district.
The report identified the routes based on existing and potential cycling demand. Further, the routes offer “a comparative advantage compared to other modes for transport trips”.
“That is, driving and public transport will be comparatively unattractive given congestion or crowding and a lack of parking. In turn, this suggests the corridors will feed into major activity centres – most notably the Melbourne CBD and surrounding areas.
“These objectives imply routes that serve high population and high workplace density, and with significant constraints on car and/or public transport use, will be assigned a high priority.”
As well as an efficiency and safety benefit for cyclists, there’s an economic benefit for boosting cycling infrastructure. A recent WeRide Australia report found the Australian cycling economy supported almost 35,000 jobs and generated around $6.3 billion in industry output.
The report noted: “growing cycling engagement and participation in the industry relies heavily on the built environment, including active transport infrastructure, but also the programs and safety initiatives that exist to support the industry”.