Northern Beaches Council adopted a Bike Plan in 2020 which stated that 40% of residents had hopped on a bicycle in the last year, which is much higher than the 25% figure for greater Sydney.
In 2023, on the Beaches, particularly in the Manly area, we see the community has embraced personal ownership of e-bikes and escooters, purchasing them in their hundreds, with young and old ebike riders heading to the beach, school, the ferry and work each day.
E-bike, e-scooter and even e-rollerblades usage is increasing, along with escalating hysteria. As the bus route and timetable debacle continues, sales of e-bikes and e-scooters has exploded. Northern Beaches councillors have been interviewed and callers to talk back radio are demanding action on recalcitrant youth riding their new e-bikes to school, sporting venues and the beach, ignoring pedestrians and cars and their own safety along the way.
Local Manly Facebook pages are filled with stories of sightings of near misses with young people double dinking their friends with no helmets up and down the hilly roads of Manly and beyond. Complaints about poor parking behaviour around schools have now been replaced by complaints about e-bike riders rushing out of the school gates, endangering the community.
Everyone is getting on their e-bikes. Young parents have reduced the numbers of cars on the roads and the hassle of securing a parking spot at daycare centres and primary schools by adopting e-cargo bikes and e-bikes for their young passengers. These young passengers will learn to ride to school before long, contributing to increasing the number of bikes on the paths and roads. Even the bold and beautiful swimmers are now saving time and parking hassles by e-biking along the Manly ocean beach shared pathway to North Steyne.