Bicycles Online, Australia’s largest specialist online bicycle retailer, recently conducted a survey of 2,180 people Australia-wide via a wide range of sources beyond just their customer database.
56% of respondents are cycling more now since lockdown, 46% say this behavioural change is permanent, and 23% have said less traffic has increased their confidence riding on the road.
Although 46% of respondents believe this positive shift in riding behaviour is long term, adequate cycling infrastructure must be implemented to support the momentum. More than 70% of respondents across all states think that current cycling facilities are lacking and that the government could do more.
60% said they were unlikely to return to public transport post the Covid-19 lockdown.
Bicycles Online co-founder and director James Van Rooyen explained, “We are in the moment of a once in a lifetime opportunity to cement cycling as a valuable part of the urban transport mix. Not just through the critical expansion of infrastructure and cycle ways, but through a change in attitudes towards road-sharing to encourage and welcome more bikes on the road.”
The survey respondents agree, with one in three surveyed saying they would swap a car for an e-bike, including for example, Sydney based respondent Renee Jacobs who said, “I would definitely swap a car for an e-bike but I would feel a lot safer if cycle lanes improved in my area, especially on multi-lane roads. Safety is still a concern sharing the road with cars, so the safer that environment gets the more we’ll see people commuting on bikes.”
It seems plenty of people are already making the shift, with Bicycles Online reporting a 310% increase in e-bike sales to 207 over the four weeks to mid June 2020 compared with the same period a year earlier. Its total bike sales, including electric bikes, are running at about 3,000 a month, with sales of commuter bikes doubling over the past four weeks.