Even with COVID-19 keeping people at home more, 60% of fleet-running businesses believe congestion has increased in the last 12 months.
The NRMA Business survey
The NRMA annually surveys fleet-running businesses on their experiences of Sydney traffic.
In their 2020 survey, it was found there were 3 main areas in Sydney causing congestion issues:
- Sydney CBD (20%)
- Inner West (14%)
- Western Sydney (13%)
This level of congestion caused corresponding problems as well:
- congestion has cost these businesses one or more hours per day in time stuck in traffic (38%)
- using more fuel (55%)
- paying more money for tolls (53%)
- wasting time looking for parking (47%).
According to the survey, there was increasing support for Government projects to increase capacity, but they have left out a fundamental game changer for congestion - active transport.
The Current Active Transport Situation
Every day in Sydney there are 2 million car trips that are less than 2km. This opens the door to encourage these people to switch from car trips to active transport travel.
In areas of high density, people are more likely to travel by active transport. 69% of all trips in Sydney’s inner city are public or active transport journeys, but this falls to 14% of trips in Penrith in Sydney’s west, and many people outside cities in NSW have little or no access to public transport.
Active Transport Opportunities
Continued urban sprawl is increasing journey distances, making it harder for people to solely use active transport, and half the residents in outer suburbs are unable to walk to a public transport stop.
The active transport network needs to integrate with existing infrastructure and allow people to travel to transport hubs, schools, shops and other amenities. Then people can walk and cycle part of their journey, and utilise public transport for the rest, if needed.
When the City of Parramatta invested in the Parramatta Valley Cycleway it saw thousands of people change to walking or bike riding for some or the whole of their journey to work. In 2019, over 300,000 trips were travelled on the path, with each one being one less car on the road.
More people traveling actively means less cars on the road and overall, reducing the burden of congestion on NSW roads.
Currently, NSW does not have enough infrastructure to enable safe active transport across the state. But 55% of Australians would like to see an investment in active transport infrastructure with 70% of people in NSW saying they would cycle more if they had access to separated bicycle lanes.
“Active transport is a solution to many problems in our current transport system. It has been great to see the pop-up cycleways provide alternative forms of getting around. These are being used by thousands of bike riders weekly. Each one takes a car off the road or a person off public transport” said
Bicycle NSW calls on the NSW Government and NSW councils to further invest in active transport infrastructure to enable more people to walk and cycle for transport, to ultimately help tackle our congestion problem.