Scale of cycling's economic, health and environmental benefits revealed in WeRide study

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The largest ever study of its kind undertaken in Australia has found that bike riding contributes $16.9 billion to the Australian economy and employs almost 60,000 people across the country.

The latest Australian Cycling and e-Scooter Economy Report authored by WeRide and EY with support from program partners including AusCycling and the Amy Gillett Foundation, quantifies the huge impact cycling has on our economy, health, and environment.

Key findings include:

  • Nationwide, cycling contributes $954 million in health and social benefits, including a net saving of $313 million in annual health costs through improved physical and mental health.
  • Swapping out car trips for bike trips saves us more than half a million tonnes of carbon emissions and 2.2 million kilograms of other air pollutants annually.
  • Bike riders spend $1.9 billion in tourism businesses around Australia, with the majority going to regional cities and towns.

The report also revealed more Australians would choose to ride for short trips if there was better infrastructure and programs to make it easier and safer.

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AusCycling Executive General Manager, Government Strategy Nick Hannan said, “We again have strong evidence that cycling creates many positive outcomes for the community. The simple act of riding a bike improves personal health, as well as benefitting the economy and the environment.

“This report accordingly makes a sound case for encouraging more people to get on bikes, and to have the necessary programs and infrastructure in place to make that happen.

“AusCycling continues to be active in this space, encouraging kids to get back on their bikes through the new AusBike learn to ride program, and we continue to lobby the federal government for better outcomes from cycling infrastructure projects.”

WeRide’s Executive Officer Peter Bourke said, “the impact of the sector is important across the board, for health, the environment, jobs and perhaps most importantly by making the choice to switch to cycling and e-Scooters easier – a real ‘triple bottom line’ benefit.

“Bike riding for transport in Australia saves the emission of over 2.6 million kilograms of air pollutants and 514,096 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, with bike commuting replacing the equivalent of $3.9bn kilometres of motor vehicle travel”

“Not only does the sector contribute over $18bn in economic, health and social benefits, we have a detailed picture for the first time of the positive impact of cycle tourism for the regions, valued at $1.9bn nationally,” Mr Bourke said.

Key National Figures

  • Percentage of people who rode a bike in the last 12 months: 33%
  • Bike-related business impact ($m): 16,856
  • Number of bike-related employees: 58,272
  • Bike tourism economic impact ($m): 1,300
  • Carbon emissions saved (tonnes): 514,096

Download the WeRide Report


Images: AusCycling

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