IBISWorld Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On your bike – or maybe just stick with the car
Today may be national Ride to Work Day, but it seems most Australians are ignoring the message and clinging to our cars, with business information analysts at IBISWorld reporting only 1.1% of us employ pedal power for our daily commute.
According to latest Census Data of major Australian cities, 15.2% of commuters use public transport, 76.1% drive to work, while 4% live close enough to walk, and those behind Ride to Work Day estimate 150,000 Australians will participate in today's event.
"Australia's bicycle industry is worth $1.93 billion when you combine retail, repair, maintenance, wholesale and manufacturing activities, and we anticipate solid growth of 4.4% over the next five years to reach $2.4 billion", said IBISWorld General Manager (Australia), Ms Karen Dobie.
"The impetus behind the growth is most likely a combination of high petrol prices, traffic congestion and difficult and costly parking in most of the country's major CBD districts. Increased investment in cycling infrastructure – such as designated bike lanes and tracks – has also contributed to growth, along with heightened awareness of the environmental impact of driving, and the health and fitness benefits of cycling."
And while spending on cycling infrastructure has increased over the past five years, with cyclists increasingly considered in urban planning debates, it's geography that plays the biggest part in our fondness for cycling to work – or not.
Those in Canberra are the most likely to opt for pedal power (2.5%), followed by Adelaide (1.5%), Melbourne (1.3%), Perth (1.2%), Brisbane and Hobart (each 1.1%), with Sydney lagging behind at 0.7% of commuters.
Yet, Ms Dobie remarked that our cycling rates remain well below what they were before the widespread use of the passenger car – with the University of Melbourne reporting cycling peaked at about a 10% share of commuter journeys in 1951.
On the flip side, Sydney has the highest percentage of workers using public transport (21.2%), followed some way behind by Melbourne (13.9%) and Brisbane (13.8%). Those living in Hobart are the least likely to use public transport (6.4%).
Adelaidians are the most reluctant to part with their cars, with 82.1% of commuters driving to work, compared with 82% in Perth, 81.4% in Hobart, 81.1% in Canberra, 78.1% in Melbourne, 76.9% in Brisbane and 69.6% in Sydney.
According to IBISWorld, 1.47 million bikes will be sold in Australia this year, and many of these will be purchased for children. Once accessories such as lights and helmets are included, the cost of the average bicycle is $721. New bike sales are skewed upwards by pricier adult models, compared with cheaper kids' bikes, which account for the significant volume due to their high turnover rates.
"The good news for potential cycling commuters is the fact that there's downward pressure on bicycle prices as retailers simplify their supply chains. Major players such as Wesfarmers are opting to bypass wholesalers to import directly, while niche retailers are competing with the growing popularity of online stores. And, like many other local retailers, the bicycle industry recently lodged a submission with the Productivity Commission's enquiry into online retailing, arguing for the GST threshold on imports to be lowered", explained Ms Dobie.
For more information on these, or any of Australia's 500 industries, log onto www.ibisworld.com.au, or to keep up to date with IBISWorld activities follow on Twitter.