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Posted by: Sportslink on 09/08/2017

Get on yer bike, but where?

Get on yer bike, but where? The latest national cycling participation data, released in June this year, show the proportion of Australians cycling has fallen significantly since 2011.

This is bad news for health and wellbeing, and for the economy as well.

However, a recent study from a University of Sydney research team and reported in The Conversation shows exceptions to this trend, in places where safe cycleways have been built.

While many of the world’s cities are investing in cycling, Australian cities are pedalling backwards. Cycling targets may appear in planning documents, but governments have clearly failed to commit adequate resources to achieving these goals, says the team.

“Governments tend to see cycling as sport, recreation or a children’s activity, rather than as an essential part of a modern multi-modal transport system.

“Although transport cycling (as opposed to sport cycling) is relatively safe, concerns about safety and fear of traffic are among the main reasons people give for not riding.

“A connected network of protected cycleways and quiet streets across a city allows people to get to more places by bicycle, without feeling intimidated by traffic.

This is the underlying philosophy of the City of Sydney’s cycleways strategy. It’s also the first step in enabling the average Australian to use a bike for everyday transport, reports the team.

“At a time when government spending on transport and health care is ballooning, our research shows a relatively small investment in cycling infrastructure could give many more people the option to make short trips by bicycle. ”

• Pictured: Cycling like this is very popular but cycling for transport can be much more difficult.