Lord Mayor Clover Moore has welcomed a new national report showing Sydneysiders are easing congestion and providing a boost to the local economy by leaving their cars at home in favour of sustainable transport.
The Federal Government’s Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport report found around 900,000 Australians ride a bicycle at least once a week to work or school, local shops, or to visit friends.
But the Lord Mayor said inner Sydney is doing particularly well with 30 per cent more people walking to work, 50 per cent more riding a bike, twice as many catching the train and three times as many catching the bus than the rest of the Sydney metropolitan area.
“The number of workers choosing public transport, walking and cycling continues to grow, while car trips have remained relatively static. In Sydney, around half of weekly bike riders cycle for transport – that’s one of the highest rates of all the capital cities across the country,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This report recognises the importance of all levels of government working together to deliver safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and I’m pleased the Federal Government has made that commitment.
“I also commend the Government for its focus on cities – most people live in and around our cities and they are the drivers of our national economy. Sydney alone generates around $100 billion with over 20,000 businesses and a workforce of more than 370,000 people.
“The findings strengthen the case for Infrastructure Australia to fund the City of Sydney-led plan for an Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network to build a 284 kilometre safe, separated bike network linking 15 Sydney council areas and up to 160 suburbs.”
The report finds traffic congestion in urban areas will cost an estimated $20.4 billion by 2020, and three and a half million people – nearly one in six Australians – will ride a bike at least once a week, delivering economic benefits of around $1.43 per kilometre.
AECOM research forecasts the Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network could deliver further congestion and economic benefits of $506 million over 30 years.
“Bike trips have more than doubled in the past three years in inner Sydney and growing our bike network will help further ease traffic on congested inner-city streets and provide real alternatives for people to leave the car at home and help cut traffic congestion and pollution,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We know those numbers will keep climbing if people have safe and convenient options to support them – we just need to connect up the network.”
Increased cycling and walking are part of the City of Sydney’s 2030 program, as endorsed by the community following the most comprehensive consultation project in Council’s history.
To find out more about Sydney’s largest celebration of cycling the Sydney Rides Festival (13 – 27 October 2013) visit sydneyridesfestival.net
For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Leanne Bridges, phone 0434 320 768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Shehana Teixeira on 0418 238 373 or email@example.com