The Dutch are now each cycling an average of 1,018 kilometres a year, a rise of 230 kilometres on five years ago, the Telegraaf says on Tuesday.
Road users lobby group Bovag puts the increase down to the popularity of electric bikes. ‘In 2007, people bought 89,000 e-bikes but last year the total was 223,000,’ spokesman Tom Huyskens told the paper.
‘There are now some 1.5 million electric bikes in the Netherlands and they make it easier for people to cycle more often and to cover longer distances.’
Bovag analysed figures from the CBS national statistics office and found people cycled an average of almost three kilometres a day last year. They also drive an average of 16 kilometres, which could easily be done by electric bike, Huyskens pointed out.
‘Electric bikes are a great alternative for commuters,’ he said. ‘We expect the amount of kilometres people cycle to continue to grow.’
Government cycling experts are recommending the introduction of a 25 kph speed limit on Dutch bike lanes to curb the impact of electric ‘super’ bikes. Electric bikes with speeds of up to 40 kph are now on sale in the Netherlands and there are concerns about their impact on cyclist safety.
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