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Cycling investment in Queensland

Queensland's population is expected to grow by almost 1 million over the next 10 years. There is no better time to get more people on their bikes.

The Queensland Government is investing in cycling because when people ride, it contributes to:

  • making our transport system more sustainable
  • maintaining a healthy environment and more active lifestyle
  • the vitality of our cities and town
  • reducing congestion 

By delivering well-planned cycling infrastructure, we will help make cycling in Queensland safer, better connected and a more attractive transport choice.

The following infographic shows the growth in cycling in conjunction with the investment in cycling infrastructure within inner Brisbane.

The maps are based on data collected as part of the 5 yearly census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The data is drawn from the questions relating to place of employment, and the method of transport used to get to work.

The maps are thematically shaded to show the percentage of people riding a bike to their workplace in the suburbs of Brisbane City, Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill, Milton and South Brisbane (CBD and CBD fringe) as a proportion of all travel to work.


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How we invest in cycling

The Queensland Cycling Strategy 2017-2027 was released in 2017 and sets the direction for cycling for the next 10 years, with a vision to achieve more cycling, more often in Queensland.

We invest in cycling through:

  • Cycling Infrastructure Policy
  • Active Transport Investment Program

Cycling Infrastructure Policy

The Cycling Infrastructure Policy; states that along principal cycle routes, the Department of Transport and Main Roads will positively provide for cyclists in transport infrastructure projects.

Active Transport Investment Program

The Cycling Infrastructure Program helps to fill the highest priority gaps on state-controlled portions of the Principal Cycle Network Plans and support local governments to deliver their cycle networks.

The program has been in place since 2006. It is a major funding initiative to accelerate delivery of the principal cycle network, and encourage people to cycle more. The program promotes and supports collaboration between state and local governments to achieve a ‘one network’ outcome for cycling.

Since 2006, more than $211 million has been invested in safe cycling through the program, delivering over 445kms of bikeways in association with local governments, and directly serving more than a million people.

Most future investments in the principal cycle network will be physically separated from motor vehicle traffic to make it easier and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to ride as an everyday activity.

Principal Cycle Network Plans

Principal Cycle Network Plans show core routes needed to get more people cycling more often. Routes shown are indicative and exist to guide further planning. The plans are intended to support, guide and inform the planning, design and construction of the transport network.

Across 7 regions, 550km of highest priority routes has been identified in the Priority Route Maps for each Principal Cycle Network Plan.

Why we invest in cycling

We have been investing in projects through the Active Transport Investment Program for the last 10 years. To date, the program has delivered high-quality infrastructure with strongly positive benefit-cost ratios on projects such as the Veloway One (Stage C) and the Cairns Northern Cycleway.

To ensure we build on these achievements, the department prepared a program level business case for the program. This work was supported by a cost benefit analysis model to help understand which future investment scenarios would produce the largest economic returns for the community.

The approach adopted was developed to conform to economic appraisal guidance within the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines for Active Transport.

The model was developed at program level, grounded in demographic analysis (medium population forecast for Queensland), network cost data and working papers on international practice.

The results indicate that the Queensland economy could expect almost $5 in economic benefits for every dollar invested in cycling infrastructure. This is a very significant finding and supports the case for additional funding for cycling infrastructure.

The economic assessment undertaken for this program was based on conservative assumptions, indicating potentially higher benefits could be realised for every extra kilometre cycled.

Business case

You can also access this infographic information in text form.

Business case results found:

  • health benefits far outweigh any other, at 0.66 cents per kilometre cycled
  • ‘Journey ambience’ related to separated cycling facilities as opposed to on-road cycle lanes is also important, calculated at 0.138 cents per km
  • there is a dis-benefit – bicycle injury costs but the benefits outweigh the dis-benefits by 4:1
  • 40% reduction in bicycle accidents could potentially be achieved by switching to cycle infrastructure that is separate from motor vehicle traffic
  • in completing the highest priority routes, significant economic benefits are generated, some $721 million over the appraisal period
  • Net Present Values increase in accordance with level of investment
  • the net economic benefit is equivalent to $77 million a year in present value terms for 30 years.

There are also other benefits of implementing a cycle network. For example, journey ambience, which relates to the enjoyment cyclists get from using safer facilities such as cycle facilities separated from motor vehicles.

Active transport economic appraisal tool

The department has also developed an economic appraisal tool for estimating the economic costs and benefits of investment in walking and cycling infrastructure projects in Queensland. 

What's next

More than 802,000 Queenslanders ride a bike each week (Austroads, 20171) and 1.53 million would ride if the conditions were right (The University of Sydney, 20152).

It is vital current and future cyclists are supported by good planning and investment in safe cycling infrastructure.

For example, we are investing $241.5 million between 2017-18 and 2020-21 in high-quality cycle infrastructure, planning and programs across Queensland.

This investment will be targeted to deliver the identified highest priority routes in the principal cycle network in order to make cycling in Queensland safer, better connected and a more attractive transport choice.

Based on the business case, we are introducing refinements to the Active Transport Investment Program funding guidelines to deliver:

  • 550kms of high priority routes
  • a cycle network that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic
  • ‘One Network’ approach and projects
  • more planning projects to develop a pipeline of high quality projects
  • targeted promotion of completed corridors

The Queensland State of Cycling Report will continue to be updated and published every 2 years, allowing us to monitor and report on the Active Transport Investment Program and track our progress.


  1. Austroads (2017), National Cycling Participation Survey: Queensland, Sydney.
  2. The University of Sydney (Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies) (2015), 2015 Transport Opinion Survey. Quarter 1, 1 March 2015, Sydney: University of Sydney.
Last updated
10 December 2019