Key influences on cycling for transport

Heesch, Kristiann C & Turrell, Gavin (2014) Key influences on cycling for transport. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 25(4), pp. 43-46.

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Over recent years, the health, transport and environment sectors have been increasingly focused on the promotion of transport cycling. From a health perspective, transport cycling is recognised as a beneficial form of physical activity as it can be easily integrated into daily living, is done at an intensity that confers health benefits, and is associated with reductions in mortality and morbidity [1]. From a safety perspective, the risk of a serious cycling injury decreases as cycling increases [2] as having more cyclists on roads increases motor vehicle drivers’ awareness of cyclists and in turn makes cycling safer.

Whereas cycling for recreation is the fourth most commonly reported physical activity among Australian adults [3], transport cycling is an underutilised travel mode. Approximately 1.3% of journeys to work in Australia are made by bicycle [4]. This low prevalence is mirrored in the UK and the US, but not in some European countries like the Netherlands and Denmark, where over 18% and 26%, respectively, of all journeys are made by bicycle [5].

In the past decade, concerted efforts have been made by Australian state and local governments to increase cycling rates [6]. Notably, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have implemented policies, increased bicycle commuting infrastructure, and offered information and promotion programs to encourage commuter cycling [6,7]. Governments have also developed comprehensive longterm plans for guiding future cycling strategies, using lessons learned from around the world in developing successful cycling policy and promotion [6,7]. Changes in transport cycling rates in inner cities since these efforts have been implemented are encouraging. In Sydney, census data indicate an 83% increase in the number of people using a bicycle for commuting between 2001 and 2011 [8]. Counts of bicycles being ridden along major cycling commuter routes indicate increases in weekday morning cycling trips in Brisbane (63% increase from 2004 to 2010) [7] and in Melbourne (a 43% increase from 2006 to 2008) [9]. However, bicycle mode share to work has changed little: for example, between 2001 and 2011, it decreased slightly from 1.6% to 1.3% in Brisbane [10,11].

Researchers have been investigating factors that may be contributing to low rates of cycling for transport, to inform future policy and programming to encourage transport cycling. The aim of this paper is to overview our work to date in this area of research in Queensland.

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ID Code: 79842
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: correlates, determinants, transportation, behaviour, bicycle
ISSN: 1832-9497
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 please consult author(s)
Deposited On: 08 Jan 2015 02:30
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2015 20:47

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