Research demonstrates economic benefits of investment in cycling

A person riding on a bike path next to a railway. There is a map of the cycle route in the foreground.
$5 in economic benefit for every $1 invested in cycling infrastructure

Overview of action

Action 5.5, Queensland Cycling Action Plan 2017–2019
Status: complete

Publish a summary of the program and project level cost–benefit analysis of active transport infrastructure to support and strengthen the use of this analysis in decision making.

Achievements

New research by the Department of Transport and Main Roads has evaluated the economic benefits of cycling infrastructure funding scenarios to help ensure the greatest economic return to the Queensland community over 10 years.

The Queensland Cycling Infrastructure Investment Strategy and Business Case 2016–2026 looked at the net economic benefits of several cycling infrastructure funding scenarios.

It found that the strongest scenario was the full delivery of 550km of our highest priority principal cycle network routes.

This will result in a return of almost $5 in economic benefit for every $1 invested, mostly from the health benefits of encouraging a more active lifestyle. This is a significant finding, which supports the case for additional funding for cycling infrastructure.

A paper was presented at the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management national conference to enable other jurisdictions to understand and use the analysis methodology.

For policy-makers, having a good understanding of where spending will be most effective is critical, so that they can invest in programs that represent the best value for money.

By showing the economic benefits of investing in cycling infrastructure, this work will help maximise future investments, while helping Queenslanders live an active and healthy life.

A summary of the business case findings is available online.

Next steps

We will update the program business case to underpin future funding for cycling infrastructure.

Lead agency

Department of Transport and Main Roads