Perth a city of bikes

Kent Acott
Regular cyclist Michelle Guy on Windan Bridge. Picture: Nic Ellis

The phenomenal growth of cycling in Perth shows no signs of slowing down, with a big rise in the number of people riding into the city.

The latest counts obtained by _The Weekend West _ reveal about 100,000 new metropolitan bike trips across the city last year.

The Department of Transport figures show annual cycling numbers at several locations rose significantly in the same period, with one site along Kwinana Freeway jumping 14.6 per cent.

The department has permanent counters placed around the central business district to record the number of daily bike movements. While they do not give the full picture - and details from two of the sites are still being finalised - they show that cycling participation is on the rise.

Most of the growth has been on weekdays, suggesting more people are riding to work.

_The Weekend Race _ has confirmed that the bike is now an attractive mode of transport.

In races between a bike, bus, train and car into the city, the bike won from each of three different starting points.

The latest count also shows big growth at locations with new, dedicated bike lanes.

The path alongside Kwinana Freeway, near Paganoni Road, recorded a 14.6 per cent increase in bike movements last year, from 31,696 to 36,308.

There were also big rises at the Tonkin Highway path near Midland (up 7.8 per cent, from 179,560 to 193,637), Banks Reserve in East Perth (up 5.7 per cent, from 201,970 to 213,562) and at Windan Bridge (up 5.4 per cent, from 355,328 to 374,446).

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the increase in bike journeys was "wonderful to see".

"That's why the State Government has spent more than $100 million on cycling initiatives over the past five years to help expand and improve infrastructure and facilities," he said.

There are more than 4.2 million bike movements around Perth every year.

A recent Australian Bicycle Council and Austroads study found that WA also has the highest cycling participation rate in Australia.

Almost one in four WA people ride a bike at least once a week, about two-thirds of which ride for leisure. The survey found that children had the highest level of participation, including half of two to four-year-olds, two-thirds of five to nine-year-olds and one-third of 10 to 17-year-olds.