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Bicycle sales hits new high as children get left behind

A strong fourth quarter for the 2012-13 financial year, has resulted in a record of over 1.4 million bicycle imports.

Bicycles imports have exceeded car sales for over a decade.

Import figures across Australia have shown the growth in adults cycling and bike sales. Imports for adult bikes have increased by 21% since 2009-10, but alarmingly children’s imports have recorded a 7% fall over the same period.

Children today are suffering from a crisis of physical inactivity, overweight and obesity. It demonstrates that we need to invest in appropriate infrastructure, education and programs to get our children riding and walking again.

The Cycling Promotion Fund is concerned that in the rush to commit to billions in new road infrastructure, much cheaper investment in getting our kids active again is being ignored.

Increasing the numbers of Australians riding for transport also creates better communities and reduces congestion, reliance on road infrastructure and has the potential to reduce economic cost to governments to expand and maintain the road network.

This is a critical time for all parties to show their support for an active and healthy Australia. The imminent federal election will be an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to ensuring a healthy future for our children with appropriate investments to make cycling and walking easier and safer.

Key facts:

  • 2012-13 imports equaled 1.4m units, eclipsing the previous FY total of 1.2m in 2010/11
  • More than 4million Australians regularly ride a bike (ref)
  • 30% of all car trips are 5km or less, a distance that can be easily cycled
  • One in four children are overweight or obese
  • In NSW in 1971, only 12% of children were driven to school, by 2010 half of secondary students were driven to school
  • The net health benefit of every kilometer walked is 144 cents, and of every kilometer cycled is 75 cents.
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