Western Australia has announced all cyclists can legally ride on footpaths, following South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania.

NSW and Victoria are the only states left where riding a bike on a footpath is not allowed for adults. NSW also recently increased fines for riding on footpaths.

A WA government release said the move “allowed common sense and safety to prevail”.

“From today, it is legal for parents to ride side by side with their child along a footpath. For example, if someone is not comfortable riding to the shops along the road, they can now choose to ride on the footpath without breaking the law,” deputy premier and road safety minister Liza Harvey said. “This is a common sense change and targeted at parents and leisure cyclists who travel at low speed and do not feel comfortable riding on the road.”

Mrs Harvey said the changes were made after extensive consultation, including the State Government’s Cycling Safety Roundtable last year.

Transport minister Dean Nalder said the government’s Cycling and Pedestrian Advisory Group found permitting cyclists of all ages on footpaths had safety benefits and very low risks to pedestrians as evidenced in other states.

“However, local government bylaws can still ban cycling on specific footpaths if bicycle and pedestrians movements are deemed incompatible, for example outside aged care facilities,” he said.