Motor Vehicles Reported as Largest Barrier to Cycling in Melbourne

Results from a recent survey published in the Journal of Transport & Health have revealed that the most commonly reported barriers to cycling in Melbourne relate to riding alongside motor vehicle traffic.

Cycling Melbourne
The City of Melbourne’s cycling network currently has approximately 135km of on and off-road routes

Despite the environmental and health benefits, bike ridership in Australia is generally considered low in contrast to comparable international countries.

However, research has found that up to 78 percent of people in Greater Melbourne would be interested in riding a bike, but feel that particular factors prevent them from doing so.

The published research therefore aimed to identify the significance of these barriers by conducting online surveys.

The data analysed 717 results, in which the most highly reported barriers to riding a bike for transport included not wanting to ride on the road with motor vehicle traffic (56%), concern about collisions with motor vehicles (54%), bad weather (53%) and motorist aggression (53%) – meaning three of the four top-cited reasons relate to motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, the most highly reported enablers to bike riding for transport included having a bike-lane physically separated from motor vehicle traffic or an off-road bike path (66%) and motivation to improve physical health (65%).

These factors were consistent across all groups. Consequently, to overcome the most commonly reported barriers and encourage people of all ages and abilities to cycle, it is arguably crucial for the city to invest in protected and connected infrastructure.

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