Sunday 08 December 2019

€3bn is needed to get more people on their bikes: campaign group

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands might be a cycling nation but at least €3bn in extra investment is needed to make sure cyclists cover 20% more kilometres by 2027, according to a government task force in the AD.

Tour de Force, made up of 24 local government and lobby groups, says the money needs to be spent on encouraging urban cycling and ensuring bikes become part of regional and flexible transport networks.

The organisation was set up in 2017 with the aim of boosting the number of kilometres travelled by bike by one fifth within 10 years. The organisations says more must be done to ensure cycling is an ‘attractive and safe way of moving around, keeping active and having fun’.

In concrete terms this means more safe cycle paths for commuters and others, better access to bike rental schemes and encouraging employers to improve their facilities for cyclists, the organisation said.

‘The elderly, people with disabilities, children and new arrivals to the Netherlands all need help to improve their skills, so that they too can make use of the advantages which cycling offers,’ the organisation said.

Traffic jams

Last year the government launched a major drive to try to get commuters out of their cars and onto bikes to cut both pollution and traffic jams.

Some 200,000 more people should be cycling to work by the end of this cabinet period which will ‘contribute to mobility, livability and health,’ junior minister Stientje van Veldhoven said at the launch last June.

Pay to pedal: the subscription bike service with blue wheels

That plan involves encouraging more employers to pay their staff 19 cents a kilometre in travelling expenses if they use their own bike to get to work.

Half of all car trips in the Netherlands are shorter than 7.5 kilometres.

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