Central Coast residents are being urged to consider the health, environmental, economic and social benefits of cycling to work.
The call comes from Central Coast Local Health District’s Health Promotion Service ahead of World Bicycle Day on Wednesday 3 June.
With a shift towards walking, running and cycling as a leisure and exercise activity during COVID–19, Nigel Tebb, health promotion officer at Central Coast Health Promotion, said now is the perfect time for people to continue the health benefits by cycling to and from work.
“COVID–19 has restricted many of the things we took for granted as part of our daily lives,” Mr Tebb said.
“Exercise has been one of only a few activities that has remained a constant possibility under government guidelines, and more people have been enjoying biking as a result.
“As many of us begin to think about returning to our places of work as restrictions lift, we’re urging people to consider active transport, such as cycling, to commute. Not only is it a convenient way to get the vital exercise we need for both our physical and mental health, it’s also a much cheaper and greener way to travel. For short trips, it’s often faster than driving too.”
Mr Tebb believes now presents a unique opportunity for the Central Coast to become a more active, healthy and sustainable region.
Figures from the Household Travel Survey 2018–19 suggest there is room to increase active transport on the Coast. The survey found 72 per cent of travel in the region was by private motor vehicle, while commuting for work-related business was cited as the reason for nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of household travel.
“According to the 2016 census, more than 95,000 people both live and work on the Central Coast, with local people making up 91 per cent of the Central Coast workforce. That’s a significant number of people, some of whom could potentially travel actively to work,” Mr Tebb said.
“When you add that to the recent Household Travel Survey figures, you can start to see the scale of the opportunity here. If we can continue this trend we have seen during COVID–19 of an increased uptake in cycling, then we have a unique opportunity on the Coast to become a more active, connected and healthy community.”
Central Coast Health Promotion runs a Go Active 2 Work Day every third Wednesday of the month, with monthly gatherings in William Street, Gosford. To join the Central Coast Go Active 2 Work community, receive a welcome pack and updates, visit www.healthpromotion.com.au/go-active2work.
Only two years old, World Bicycle Day was started in 2018 by the United Nations to celebrate the bicycle and promote it as a simple, affordable, reliable, sustainable and healthy means of transport.