Record numbers of Sydneysiders are cycling into the city, with recorded bike trips in some locations up to six times higher than in 2010, according to figures released by City of Sydney council.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore attributed the increase to the expansion of cycling infrastructure throughout the city.
“Since 2007 we have delivered 25km of safe, separated cycleways, including pop-ups, 60km of shared paths and 40km of other cycling infrastructure,” she said.
“In the past year, we’ve opened new separated cycleways on more than 15 streets including at Waterloo, Erskineville, and Green Square.
“Over the next year we’ll be adding to this network with the highly anticipated Oxford Street cycleway and the extension of existing cycleways on Castlereagh and Liverpool streets, among others.”
The city’s busiest intersections in 2022/23 have been:
- Oxford Street/Flinders Street/Bourke Street – 2,701 trips per day during peak hours
- Oxford Street/Lang Road/Moore Park Road/Queen Street – 2,378 trips per day during peak hours
- Pyrmont Bridge Road/Murray Street/Pyrmont Bridge – 2,057 trips per day during peak hours
- King Street/Kent Street – 2,037 trips per day during peak hours
Trips by bike across the local area were up 18% at peak hours compared to last year.
“People really embraced cycling as a means of active transport during Covid, when we added to our network with pop-up cycleways to help people get around the city during the pandemic,” Clover said.
“We’ve made some of these cycleways permanent because they proved so popular. As workers and visitors returned to the city post-pandemic, these remarkable figures show many of them continue to ride in and out of the city while others have joined the two-wheel revolution.”
Several intersections showed a huge increase in bike path use since counts started in 2010:
- Campbell and Euston roads intersection, up by 609%
- Kent and Druitt streets intersection, up by 602%
- Castlereagh and Goulburn streets intersection, up by 449%
- Wellington and George streets intersection up, by 435%
- Liverpool and George streets intersection, up by 427%
Permanent 24-hour counters on some City of Sydney cycleways show similar increases for total daily trips.
Bourke Street cycleway in Surry Hills has a daily average of 1,616 bike trips this year, up 41% on last year and higher than all previous years.
Castlereagh Street cycleway has a daily average of 862 bike trips this year, up 47%. City of Sydney’s 2022-23 budget sets aside more than $69 million for bicycle-related works over the next four years.
The network gained international attention when Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary requested a tour of the cycleways on a recent trip to Sydney.
Moore Park Road Cycleway Retained
City of Sydney recently voted to retain its Moore Park Road pop-up cycleway, in Sydney’s inner east, until at least 2026.
The cycleway was installed in 2020 as a temporary but important link between Bondi Junction and the Sydney CBD, until the nearby Oxford Street East cycleway was completed.
The NSW Government released new, high-level strategic designs for the bidirectional Oxford Street East cycleway earlier this year, but construction delays have pushed a start date back to late 2023.
In addition, the project continues to face fierce opposition from small business.
A Bicycle NSW petition to ensure the cycleway goes ahead has attracted more than 740 signatures since it was launched on 18th May.
The 1.7km temporary Moore Park Road cycleway has proved increasingly popular for bike riders moving through the area. A trip counter installed by Transport for NSW logged an average of 1,915 trips per week in February 2021. As of February this year, it was recording 500 trips on weekdays and 350 on Saturdays and Sundays, amounting to around 3200 per week.
There have been no crashes reported to police since the cycleway was installed, compared to an average of 2.3 crashes reported each year between 2009 and 2019.
Bicycle NSW, BIKEeast and other advocacy groups are pushing for the Moore Park Road cycleway to be made permanent and extended.
Mildura 30kmh CBD Trial
Meanwhile in Victoria, Mildura Rural City Council has embarked on a 12-month 30kmh speed limit trial in Mildura’s central business district.
The trial started at the end of April as an action identified in the council’s Mildura CBD Access and Mobility Strategy.
“Lowering the speed limit is expected to create an economically vibrant and safer CBD where all people, particularly children, older people and people living with disabilities feel safer when visiting local shops and services,” the council says.
“It will also encourage more walking and cycling activities, while allowing residents and visitors to enjoy an improved amenity due to calmer traffic movements and less traffic noise.”