Belgium and Denmark among Europe's top countries for promoting cycling

·2-min read
Belgium is promising to invest in infrastructure specifically for cyclists.

Most European Union countries are now including cycling in their various recovery plans, following the crisis linked to the covid-19 pandemic. In most cases, the aim is to improve and develop cycling infrastructure and promote cycling in cities. Belgium is the country that, proportionally, plans to devote the most money to the development of cycling thanks to the European subsidies it is set to receive, according to the European Cyclists' Federation.

Belgium figures as the European Union country that will earmark the highest percentage of its Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to cycling (7%), far ahead of Denmark (4.4%), Hungary, Latvia and Slovakia (1.7%).

These statistics are taken from an account of the efforts made by each EU member state to promote cycling, published by the European Cyclists' Federation. It also shows that several countries have launched for the very first time a recovery plan containing cycling-related measures. This is the case of Bulgaria, for example, which includes in its plan the implementation of new infrastructure for cyclists. Estonia, Sweden and Malta also want to develop infrastructure that at present is inadequate, such as creating bicycle links to train stations and public transport stops and developing bicycle paths outside cities.

Several countries have published updated versions of their stimulus plans, which include new recommendations for cycling. This is the case in Cyprus, which wants to develop its bicycle network, create parking lots for cyclists and introduce 30 km/h zones in cities. The same is true for Hungary and Romania.

Regarding France, the European Cyclists' Federation notes that the only real mention of cycling concerns a reform aimed at securing bicycle parking in stations and facilitating and developing transport of bikes on trains. The recovery plan presented by the government in 2020 included three key measures: the development of bike lanes, more parking spaces and more aid for purchase.

To date, five national plans do not mention cycling at all, those of Germany, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal.

David Bénard

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