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This FACT indicates the proportion of regular bicycle riders who ride for transport purposes - that is, not sports or leisure, in each Australian city. Cycling lanes are an important part of public infrastructure and feature on the agenda of many local and state councils, since encouraging cycling is a way to control road congestion, promote healthy lifestyles, and reduce pollution. Nonetheless, because of the relatively great distances that Australians travel between their suburban homes and work, for example, the number of frequent cyclists is comparatively low when compared to cities in Europe.
In August 2011, the Australian Bicycle Council released the results of the National Cycling Participation Survey. The survey found that in a typical week around 18% of Australians ride a bicycle for transport and recreation. Around 3.6 million people rode for recreation, leisure or sport, yet only 1.2 million made at least one transport journey. The highest proportion of bicycle riders who ride for transport is Darwin, at 48 percent. The lowest is Sydney - the hilliest city - at 23 percent. The difference between 7th and 8th rankings was significant, with Perth ranking 7th at 34 percent.