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Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion Signed by 54 Countries, Aims to Reduce Carbon Emission

People walk and ride a bicycle on a snow covered alley near the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. The Eiffel Tower is using a blowtorch to melt ice collecting on its surfaces, and snow is blocking roads, trains and school buses across northern France. (AP Photo)

People walk and ride a bicycle on a snow covered alley near the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. The Eiffel Tower is using a blowtorch to melt ice collecting on its surfaces, and snow is blocking roads, trains and school buses across northern France. (AP Photo)

It is worth noting that the Netherlands leads the ranking of countries where cycling is most popular, with more than a quarter of trips made by bicycle (27%).

A brand new pan-European cycling plan has just been adopted. It includes many recommendations concerning the infrastructure to be put in place or the financing of aid to boost the uptake of cycling in 54 countries across Europe and North America. Its main objective is to help double the number of bicycle trips by 2030.

This pan-European master plan for cycling promotion was definitively adopted on May 18, 2021. It covers 54 countries, including the 27 of the European Union. This is a first for the whole of Europe, with all these countries showing their keenness to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport, in view of the climate emergency and the need to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

In order to double the number of journeys made by bicycle in the span of just 10 years, the various governments concerned will have to implement a resolutely proactive policy. Currently, of the 54 countries involved in promoting cycling, 16 have already adopted a national strategy, while 9 others are developing one for the first time. This means that a majority of these countries still do not have a national strategy for the development of cycling.

In order not to start from nothing, the plan already includes a dozen general recommendations such as creating a user-friendly cycling infrastructure, developing appropriate road signs, providing sustainable investments and efficient financing mechanisms, promoting cycle tourism among others.

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It is worth noting that the Netherlands leads the ranking of countries where cycling is most popular, with more than a quarter of trips made by bicycle (27%). Countries like Denmark (15%), Belgium (12%) and Germany (11%) are also good performers, while France is still lagging behind (2.7%). However, all of them have shown an increase in figures since 2020 and the health crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

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first published:May 25, 2021, 17:04 IST