RESEARCH NOTE: Cycling Participation in Western Australia – 2011 National Cycling Participation Survey Results

Australian Cycling Participation

The Australian Bicycle Council released at the end of August 2011 the results of the 2011 National Cycling Participation Survey *. The survey was undertaken to establish the base or benchmark to measure the success of the Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016. As part of the release of the survey the Australian Bicycle Council released some interesting statistics on cycling in Western Australia.According to the summary data put out by the Australian Bicycle Council Western Australia has come out pretty well in the National Cycling Participation Survey. The survey found that approximately 22% of Western Australians ride in a typical week, which is significantly higher than the national average. Other interesting statistics to come out of the survey include:

Screen Shot 2011 09 01 at 9 53 41 PM

Cycling participation as a proportion of resident population

    Approximately 22% of Western Australians ride in a typical week, increasing to 30% over a month and 45% over a year;

  • Adult participation decreases to about 15% of 18-39 year olds and 12% aged 40 and over;
  • Adult participation is disappointing given Western Australia has one of the highest levels of participation in children with approximately 57% of children aged under 10 and 45% of children aged 10 to 17 riding each week;
  • As seen on the roads, men are more likely to ride with 27% of males riding in a typical week versus 17% females. The stats get worse as women get older;
  • The dominant form of riding is recreational (77% of riders in a typical week) and about 159,000 people make a transport ride in a typical week.
Screen Shot 2011 09 01 at 9 53 50 PM

Purpose for cycling travel by Western Australians who rode in the past seven days

It is interesting to compare the data reported by the survey against the bicycle movement statistics captured by the Department of Transport. The survey results do paint a more rosy picture compared to the Departments bicycle movement statistics. That said the Department’s data is more likely reflective of commuter movements and then on a fairly narrow radius based on the Perth CBD.

All that said it is still a promising picture of things to come in the world of cycling.

* The survey was conducted by telephone interviews with a random selection of households across Australia. A total of 9,661 households consisting of 24,858 individuals were interviewed. Respondents were asked when they and other members of their household had last ridden a bicycle, and if in the past week, how often and for what purposes they had ridden.


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