Photo Credit: Fifteen
The cycling industry fully supports the European Parliament’s resolution for a common strategy to double the number of kilometres cycled in Europe by 2030.
The resolution to develop an EU cycling strategy – which is now a task for the European Commission – marks a recognition of cycling as a fully-fledged mode of transport and key industrial asset to meet long-term climate targets.
It sets out a 17-point action plan to develop more cycling infrastructure and lay fertile ground in Europe for bike, component and battery production.
Additionally, the resolution aims to cultivate a “cycling ecosystem” covering manufacturing, tourism, retail, health and sports to double the number of related jobs in Europe to two million.
Benoit Yameundjeu, CEO of French electric bike-sharing firm Fifteen, told Zag Daily the resolution would pave the way for sustainable and bike-focused transport networks across the EU.
“By investing in safe cycling infrastructure but also in accessible bike-sharing programmes, this strategy promises to reduce congestion, improve public health, and make cities more liveable,” said Yameundjeu.
“Not only will this benefit residents, but it will also boost Europe’s economy and create new job opportunities. This points to an exciting shift in how Europeans view transport.”
Jill Warren, CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), said the moment was ‘historic’ for the cycling industry.
“ECF has been closely involved in the development of this resolution and we are pleased that it reflects many of our core, longstanding demands, such as treating cycling as a fully-fledged mode of transport, calling on the European Commission to develop a European cycling strategy, calling on Member States to significantly increase investments in separated cycling infrastructure, and accelerating the development of the EuroVelo cycle route network, among many others.
“The task now is to turn these excellent words into reality. We will continue to urge the Commission to develop a joined-up, holistic EU Cycling Strategy to unlock cycling’s full potential.”
Actions to boost cycling
With a resolution approved almost unanimously, the document calls for actions which include significantly increasing investments in safe, separated cycling infrastructure; integrating this into urban frameworks; and taking cycling into account when building or upgrading Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) infrastructure.
It also calls for the inclusion of the cycling industry in the mobility ecosystem of EU industrial strategy and for support for the production of “Made in Europe” bicycles and components.
Additionally, it calls for the creation of more high-quality green jobs in the cycling industry and increasing accessibility and affordability of bicycles.
Acceleration of the development of the European cycle route network (EuroVelo) and the promotion of cycle-friendly workplaces, as well as safe and secure bike parking spaces and charging capacity, is also included.
The Resolution designates 2024 as the European Year of Cycling, which stakeholders hope will encourage national governments to take additional actions such as reducing VAT rates and multiplying initiatives to promote cycling.
Michael Stewart, Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at HumanForest, said the initiative demonstrates the recognition and endorsement of the benefits of cycling at a high institutional level.
“A number of the actions included in the Resolution align with the goals HumanForest has had from the outset, such as increasing the accessibility and affordability of bicycles. We’re looking forward to continue providing our existing community with a green, active travel solution, whilst welcoming new users who are inspired to get from A to B using HumanForest, following this announcement.”