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Cycling Safe and increasing participation in Cycling


Feeling unsafe, for example because of traffic speed or volumes or a lack of separated cycle paths, is a major deterrent, especially for women, to increased participation in cycle[2].


Generally, the higher the speed or volume of motor vehicles on a roadway, the less comfortable it is for cyclists. As traffic levels increase on higher speed roadways, they should be matched with a focus on improving the environment for cyclists. Improvements to shoulder widths or separate cycle paths can make the road environment safer for cyclists and therefore encourage increased participation in the activity.


International best practice stresses the importance of separating cyclists from high-speed traffic[3]. On roads with high traffic volumes and speeds of 80km, a separate bike path for cyclists is universally the recommended solution.


RMS recommend the separation of cyclists from motor traffic with separate bike paths (rather than requiring cyclists to use road shoulders) when traffic volumes exceed 5,000 per day and the regulated road speed is 80km or higher[4] 

Other measures which can encourage cycling as a mode of local transport and recreational enjoyment include[5]:


  • Pavement and pothole repair

  • Street cleaning

  • Completion of a Blue Mountains bikeway network

  • Cycling infrastructure (such as parking facilities stations and in shopping precincts and other destinations)

  • Off road access to Crown and other government managed land, reasonably well maintained fire trails and the establishment of single track.

[2] ‘Sydney's Cycling gender divide:  where are the women', SMH 27 May 2016), Transport for NSW, Sydney’s Cycling Future, 2013; Blue Mountains City Council, Blue Mountains Bike Plan 2020, p10.

[3] Austroads, 2012, at p6.

[4] RMS, NSW Bicycle Guidelines, 2005, p13

[5] Blue Mountains City Council, Blue Mountains Bike Plan 2020.

[6] Ibid, p18.

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