In July 2015 the Australian Bicycle Council released the results of the National Cycling Participation Survey 2015. The survey shows that around 4 million people in Australia ride a bicycle for recreation or transport in a typical week.
The National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016 sets out the objective to double cycling participation by Australians between 2011 and 2016. To measure performance towards this objective, the Australian Bicycle Council commissions a National Cycling Participation Survey which has been conducted in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The survey provides estimates of cycling participation (measured in the past week, month and year) across Australia and for each state and territory.
Key findings from the 2015 study were as follows:
- 17.4% of the Australian population had ridden in the previous week, 24.3% had ridden in the previous month and 36.3% had ridden at least once in the previous year.
- Participation rates are highest in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.
- Young children have the highest levels of cycling participation: 49% of 2 to 9 year old children had ridden in the previous week, decreasing to 37% of 10 to 17 year olds.
- Of those who cycled in the past month, a much higher proportion did so for recreational purposes (85.5%) compared to those who cycled for transport purposes (30.2%). This divide has increased since 2011 when fewer of those who cycled did so for recreational purposes (80.9%) and more did so for transport purposes (32.3%).
- Males are more likely to participate in cycling than females with 22% of males and 13% of females having ridden in the past week.
- Among those who had ridden in the past week, the average time ridden was 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Around 54.3% of households have at least one bicycle in working order.
While bicycle ownership has remained steady in comparison to the 2011 National Cycling Participation Survey, there has been a small but statistically significant decrease in the level of cycling participation in Australia between 2011 and 2015.