Recreational riding on the rise, Super Sunday numbers reveal

Recreational riding is on the increase in Australia, new data from Bicycle Network’s Super Sunday bike counts has revealed.

The 2023 Super Sunday count was conducted on the morning of November 12, when volunteer counters took to 333 sites across the country to record information on recreational users of trails, shared paths and key intersections.

Bicycle Network’s Transport Surveys and Data team has been busy crunching the numbers, which paint a promising picture of active transport across the country.

Counters logged more than 127,000 movements on Super Sunday 2023 and found that 40% of users were bike riders. E-scooters represented 1% of users, 11% were joggers and 44% were walkers.

Active transport activity decreased by 25% at sites measured in Queensland compared to 2022 results, and a 13% decrease was observed in Western Australia.

Meanwhile, counters recorded a 9% increase in Victoria, a 17% increase in the Northern Territory and a 38% increase in South Australia. Active transport remained steady in NSW, where a slight increase of 0.2% was recorded.

Altogether, an increase of 7% was observed across the country compared to the same sites surveyed on Super Sunday 2022.

In Tasmania, where no historical Super Sunday data is available, 13% of people counted were riding bikes. 

The national results represent a promising bounce following the 23% decrease recorded in the 2022 Super Sunday count. This followed a recreational riding peak observed during the pandemic in 2021.

Bicycle Network's Super Sunday count is the world’s largest and longest-running visual active transport count. It provides councils and agencies with crucial longitudinal data on active transport trends to assist the planning and design of facilities for people who ride bikes.

The counts data collected over more than a decade by Bicycle Network for Super Sunday and Super Tuesday was recently made available to the public. It can be accessed via the online dashboard here.  

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