In June 2017 the Australian Bicycle Council released the results of the National Cycling Participation Survey 2017. The survey shows that around 3.74 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, 2015 and in 2017.
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 2017 study were as follows:
- 15.5% of the Australian population had ridden in the previous week, 21.8% had ridden in the previous month and 34.2% had ridden at least once in the previous year.
- Participation rates are highest in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
- Young children have high levels of cycling participation, with 43.8% of males and 37.4% of females aged under ten years having ridden in the previous week. Male participation increases in the 10 to 17 year age bracket, with 50.4% having ridden in the previous week. However, female cycling participation falls markedly in the 10 to 17 year age bracket, with 16.9% having ridden in the previous week.
- Of those who cycled in the past month, a much higher proportion did so for recreational purposes (80.6%) compared to those who cycled for transport purposes (30.7%). This divide is not significantly different to 2011 when 80.9% of those who cycled did so for recreational purposes and 32.2% did so for transport purposes.
- Males are significantly more likely to participate in cycling than females with 20.4% of males and 10.7% 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 32 minutes.
- Around 55.8% 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 statistically significant decrease in the level of cycling participation in Australia between 2011 and 2017.