The micromobility industry has welcomed the French government’s €2bn investment in a new bicycle plan through to 2027.
France’s strategy will quadruple its investment compared to the previous five-year term, according to local media.
Last year, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced €250m for cycling for the year 2023. The improved budget was revealed by the PM at an interministerial committee on cycling, the first of its kind.
It includes building infrastructure, renewing aid for cycle purchases and pedalling training courses at primary schools. The goal is to triple the cycling modal share from 3% to 9%.
A budget of €250 million a year will fund the development of cycle paths in France. The country wants to double the existing infrastructure from 50,000 km to 100,000 km by 2030.
A €500 million portion will extend subsidies for the purchase of a bicycle by 2027. The aid will also apply to second-hand bicycles sold by companies from now onwards.
France’s plan aims to triple the number of cycle parking racks to 13 million and safe-parking areas to 90,000 spots by the end of the five-year term.
It also has a target to quadruple the number of primary school pupils taking part in pedalling training to 800,000 per year by 2027.
Zag spoke with Benoit Yameundjeu, CEO of Fifteen, which powers public bike rental services in more than 30 cities in France and worldwide.
“It is great to see the French government’s renewed commitment to funding initiatives supporting more people to cycle. French cities are really embracing cycling through integrating bike-sharing into their public transport networks, most famously in Paris, but also in Marseille and smaller towns like Epinal and Auxerre. More infrastructure and funds for cycling initiatives will greatly support decarbonising the transport sector and achieving net zero.”
Pauline Aymonier, Co-Chair of Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE), told Zag the industry has welcomed the initiative.
“We are glad to see that the lack of suitable infrastructure was identified as an enabler for the further uptake of cycling and the use of shared micromobility.
“Almost doubling the existing length of the cycling paths across the country by 2030 will reduce dependency on private car ownership and contribute to the country’s environmental ambitions.”
MMfE hopes that other EU Member States follow the example of France and reallocate funds towards sustainable modes.