Sydney bike riders hit the city in record numbers

Bike riders are flocking to Sydney's CBD in record numbers according to figures shared by the City as it flags further investment in cycling infrastructure.

Bike trips across the council area, which covers the CBD and the surrounding inner city suburbs, increased by 18% during peak hours this year compared to last.

The City of Sydney conducts weekday bike counts twice a year in March and October, at 100 locations in fair weather conditions.

Some intersections have experienced a six-fold increase in bike traffic since 2010, according to the council's figures, such as Campbell and Euston Road in St Peters (+609%) and Kent and Druitt Streets in the CBD (+602%).

"Since 2007 we have delivered 25 kilometres of safe, separated cycleways including pop-ups, 60 kilometres of shared paths and 40 kilometres of other cycling infrastructure," said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. 

“In the past year, we’ve opened new separated cycleways on more than 15 streets including at Waterloo, Erskineville, and Green Square.”

The busiest intersection was Oxford Street, Flinders Street and Bourke Street with an average of 2,701 trips per day during the peak hours.

To the east, the nearby Oxford Street, Lang Road, Moore Park Road and Queen Street intersection was second busiest with 2,378 trips per day during peak hours.

As these numbers suggest, Oxford Street is one of Sydney's busiest bike routes. It is an important thoroughfare for those travelling to and from the Sydney CBD from Bondi Junction, where a separated cycleway was completed earlier this year.

Plans are in place to build separated infrastructure along the entire stretch of Oxford Street between Centennial Park and Hyde Park in the CBD, where it could connect with the proposed Liverpool Street Cycleway to the west and recently re-opened College Street cycleway to the north.

A little further along Liverpool Street, a new cycleway along Castlereagh Street will offer riders another protected north-south route in the CBD.

"Over the next year we’ll be adding to this network with the highly anticipated Oxford Street cycleway and the extension of existing cycleways on Castlereagh and Liverpool streets, among others," says Moore.

The city has earmarked a further $69 million for bike projects over the coming four years. A draft 2023/24 budget is currently open for comment and commits $22.5 million for bike-related works, including $12 million for the Castlereagh Street Cycleway and $6.6 million for the Oxford Street West and Liverpool Street Cycleways.

A City of Sydney spokesperson says construction on these projects will commence in the new financial year.

Image credits Adam Hollingworth/City of Sydney