Cycling investment in Queensland
Queensland's population is expected to continue to grow significantly, so there is no better time to get more people on bikes.
On this page:
- Our investment in cycling
- How we invest in cycling
- Why we invest in cycling
- Active transport economic appraisal tool
- What's next
Our investment in cycling
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 lifestyles
- the vitality of our cities, towns and neighbourhoods
- reducing congestion.
By delivering well-planned, connected cycling infrastructure, we will help make riding a bike in Queensland safer, enjoyable and a more attractive transport choice.
This video shows the growth in people riding, along with the investment in off-road cycling infrastructure, within inner Brisbane between 1986 and 2016.
This shows bicycle mode share before the provision of any major cycle infrastructure in inner Brisbane. Only one suburb had higher than two percent mode share, and only ten had more than one percent mode share, none of which are any further than five kilometres from the city centre. Overall mode share was only 0.5 percent and there is no mode share difference between the two areas.
In 1988 the Bicentennial bikeway was built. The overall mode share more than doubled to 1.1 percent. There were five suburbs in the 3 to 5 percent range. Apart from Sherwood, all suburbs with greater than one percent mode share were within eight kilometres of the city centre. There were increases in most directions around the city centre, but the mode share in the South and West increased by more than in the North. Most of the five suburbs in the 3 to 5 percent range had access to the city either through close proximity to the bikeway (St Lucia and Toowong) or had the potential for access along relatively quiet streets (West End and Kangaroo Point). All were within five kilometres of the city centre.
There was a large increase in major cycling infrastructure between 1991 and 1996. The South East Freeway bikeway was built from South Brisbane to Nathan, with a connecting spur along Norman Creek. Several links were constructed on the northside, along Enoggera Creek, over the Inner City Bypass and beside Breakfast Creek and the rail line. The mode share on the northside increased from 0.9 to 1.0 percent, while mode share in the south and west rose from 1.2 to 1.8 percent compared to 1991. There was an increase in the number of suburbs in the three to five percent range, and the first suburb appeared in the five to seven percent range. All of the extra suburbs in these ranges were on the southside.
New infrastructure for this year included the Western Freeway bikeway (with a gap at Fig Tree Pocket), the Jack Pesch Cycle Bridge, the Norman Park bikeway and the Kedron Brook bikeway. There was also a significant upgrade of the inner most section of the Bicentennial bikeway, improving capacity and safety. Bicycle mode share on the northside increased over 1996, from 1.0 to 1.9 percent. South and west mode share increased from 1.8 to 3.1 percent.
The most significant piece of infrastructure added in this period was the Goodwill Bridge. South and west mode share increased from 3.1 to 3.7 percent, and northside mode share increased from 1.9 to 2.2 percent. The map also sees the first appearance of suburbs in the greater than seven percent range.
The 2011 map shows six suburbs in the greater than seven percent range and 24 in the 5 to 7 percent range. The increase in south and west mode share was higher than to the north, 3.7 to 5.3 as compared to 2.2 to 3.1. The increases were largest and most widespread in the western corridor, due to a completion of a missing link on the Centenary bikeway, an upgrade of the Bicentennial bikeway, extension of the bikeway to St Lucia and the completion of the Eleanor Schonell Bridge crossing the river between Dutton Park and St Lucia. The South East Freeway Bikeway (now called the V1 Cycleway) was extended out to Eight Mile Plains and resulted in increased mode share in the area. 2016 Mode share increased on the north side of the city, but at a slower rate than the south and west. The increase can be largely attributed to Stages 1 and 2 of the North Brisbane Bikeway. The extension of the Breakfast Creek bikeway under Enoggera Road at Kelvin Grove also had an impact. There were increases in the western corridor, which were driven by the upgrade to the Bicentennial bikeway and the bridge over Moggill Road. The upgrade and re-alignment of the VI bikeway resulted in an increase in the suburbs of Greenslopes, Holland Park, Holland Park West and Mount Gravatt.
How we invest in cycling
The Queensland Cycling Strategy 2017-2027 sets out the Queensland Government's vision for more cycling, more often in Queensland.
We invest in cycling through the:
- Cycling Infrastructure Policy
- Active Transport Investment Program.
Cycling Infrastructure Policy
The Cycling Infrastructure Policy requires the Department of Transport and Main Roads to progressively plan, design, construct, maintain and operate the state-controlled transport network, on the basis that bicycle riders will use the network.
Under the policy, projects funded by the department on principal cycle routes will explicitly provide cycling infrastructure within the project's scope. Projects not located on principal cycle routes will make implicit provision.
This policy ensures we plan, design and construct fit-for-purpose cycling infrastructure and facilities, that deliver value for money and realisable benefits.
Active Transport Investment Program
Funded as part of the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP), the Active Transport Investment Program supports development of bike riding infrastructure, planning and programs, as well as walking initiatives, across Queensland.
The program promotes and supports collaboration between state and local governments to achieve a 'one network' outcome for people who ride bikes. It supports the delivery of the highest priority routes of the principal cycle network through the:
- Cycling Works subprogram—provides funding to districts to deliver state-controlled routes
- Cycle Network Local Government Grants program—provides grant funding to local governments to deliver their routes.
Find out more about the current and planned active transport infrastructure investment provided by the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.
Why we invest in cycling
Since 2006, the Active Transport Investment 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.
Economic modelling helps us understand which future investments will produce the largest returns for the community.
Modelling conducted in 2017-18 showed that Queensland could expect almost $5 in economic benefits for every $1 invested in cycling infrastructure, creating a strong case for continued investment in cycling.
The results also found:
- health benefits far outweigh other benefits—calculated at $0.67 per kilometre ridden
- 'journey ambience' related to separated cycling facilities (as opposed to on-road cycle lanes) is important—calculated at $0.14 per kilometre
- bicycle injury costs are a disadvantage, however the overall benefits outweigh this by 4:1
- a 40% reduction in bicycle accidents could be achieved by separating cycling infrastructure from motor vehicle traffic
- completed highest priority routes generated economic benefits—approximately $721 million over the appraisal period
- Net Present Values increase with level of investment
- the net economic benefit is equivalent to $77 million a year (in present value terms) for 30 years.
You can access this infographic information in text form.
There are also other benefits of implementing a cycle network. For example, journey ambience relates to the enjoyment cyclists get from using safer facilities, such as cycle facilities separated from motor vehicles.
Active transport economic appraisal tool
We have developed an economic appraisal tool for estimating the economic costs and benefits of investment in walking and cycling infrastructure projects in Queensland.
It is important that current and future bike riders are supported by good planning and investment in safe, connected, separated cycling infrastructure.
The 2021 National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey1 found the proportion of Queensland residents who ride bicycles has increased significantly since 2019:
- the proportion of residents who ride in a typical week increased from 13.5% in 2019 to 19.2% in 2021 (approximately 977,000 people)
- the proportion of residents who ride in a typical year increased from 35.6% in 2019 to 41.3% in 2021 (approximately 2,104,200 people)
- these results are the highest since the survey started in 2011.
Our investments will continue to deliver the identified highest priority routes in the Principal Cycle Network Plans, to make bike riding in Queensland safer, better connected and a more attractive transport choice.
The Queensland State of Cycling Report is updated and published every 2 years, allowing us to monitor and report on the Active Transport Investment Program and track our progress.
- Austroads (2021), National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey (NWCPS): Queensland, Sydney.
- Last updated 05 March 2023