Whilst researching for something else the other day, I stumbled upon this somewhat surprising article by Chris Rissel, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney.
Yes, there are more cyclists on Australian roads than 25 years ago. But turns out the increase is far smaller than the increase in population for the same period… so in net terms, cycling has actually declined in popularity.
There are all kinds of reasons why this may be the case, of course. Rissel’s article offers several explanations. But one of the more interesting ones comes from Crikey contributor Alan Davies…who essentially points the finger at cashed up private school parents.
Whereas circa 38% of State secondary students walked or cycled to school in 1987, the corresponding figure for private secondary students was around 9%. That suggests the increase in private school enrolments over the last 25 years could be a key reason for the decline in non-motorised school travel by students.