All dressed up and nowhere to go? A qualitative research study of the barriers and enablers to cycling in inner Sydney

Michelle Daley, Chris Rissel, Beverley Lloyd

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60 Citations (Scopus)


There is considerable capacity to increase community levels of cycling in Sydney. This qualitative study aimed to explore factors that influence personal decisions to initiate and maintain cycling, or not to cycle, in inner Sydney, and to identify differences according to current cycling behaviour. Three types of riders were identified and 70 participants (24 males and 46 females) recruited. Of these, 22 were classified as non-riders, 23 were occasional riders and 25 were regular riders. Twelve focus groups were held in inner Sydney during October and November 2005 and explored perceptions of cycling, specific barriers and enablers for recreational and commuter cycling, as well as environmental and socio-cultural influences. Data were audiotaped, transcribed and thematically analysed using the 'template analysis' technique. Personal factors and the built environment had greater influence for occasional and non-riders, while onroad infrastructure and socio-political issues were more significant for regular riders. Major themes centred on safety concerns due to a lack of cycling infrastructure and low recognition and respect of cyclists' needs by other road and path users. Political will and leadership are required to support programs that legitimise cycling as an essential form of transport that deserves infrastructure, investment and promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalRoad and Transport Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

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