Thursday, August 7, 2008

Getting Australia Moving

Cycling in Australia is on the increase! Over 1.68 million adults cycled in 2006; an increase of 244,000 from 2001. Australian capital cities have also experienced an average 22% increase in bicycle journeys to work, with Melbourne’s growth rate soaring 42% between 2001 and 2006.As Australians continue to lead increasingly busy lifestyles, cycling is in a unique position for its ability to combine physical activity, recreation and transport. This provides an important health benefit for a population failing to meet minimum physical activity requirements. Cycling is also a carbon neutral, petrol free form of transport, simultaneously helping Australians fight climate change and reduce fuel costs. For peak hour journeys in particular, the bicycle can reduce congestion and increase the efficiency of the transport system. For Australia to fully capitalise on the benefits of cycling, a whole-ofgovernment approach is required, with commitment from the health, transport, environment, education and planning portfolios. Only through a combined approach can the benefits of cycling be fully realised.

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