4 Jul 2023

The number of people jumping on their bikes in Christchurch is growing with data showing a 30% increase over the last seven years.

Latest Christchurch City Council figures reveal an increase of 6% compared to last May, while comparing the first quarter of 2023 to 2022 shows an 11% bump.

Fast facts

12 month total: 3,612,094

Monthly total: 349,061

Average daily count: 11,260

May 2023 compared to May 2022: 6% increase

Quarter one 2023 compared to 2022: 11% increase

“We’ve recently overhauled our Cycle Counter dashboard which gives us a better long-term picture of how cycling is tracking,” Head of Transport Lynette Ellis says.

“The data comes from 28 counters around our cycle network with the first eight installed in 2016. While it’s not tracking every single person riding a bike, it does show a great snapshot of the numbers around town,” she says.

It is presented as a percentage change depending on how much the cycle counts increased or decreased each day compared to the same time last year.

“This means we’re not simply saying there are more cyclists because the number of counters has grown,” Ms Ellis says.  

“There are fluctuations which are largely seasonal or over the school holidays. For example, during the COVID-19 lockdowns cycle counts peaked when families were out biking with fewer cars on the road.”

There are more than 40km of cycleways in Christchurch with the Rapanui-Shag Rock being completed most recently in December.

A further four cycleways are currently under construction including Heathcote Expressway, South Express, Nor’West Arc, and Northern Line, plus the final part of the Coastal Pathway shared path is also nearing completion.

“The Council has put significant investment in cycling programmes and infrastructure and the long-term data shows it’s paying off with more and more people cycling,” she says.  

“Biking is good for a variety of reasons. It’s great for the environment, reduces congestion for people driving or taking the bus, it can be quicker than taking your car and also has community as well as health benefits.”