Cyclist.ie is the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), and we are a regularly active participant in shaping policy and plans for the future of cycling in Europe through our parent advocacy body, the ECF.
Just recently the ECF, and the cycling industry grouping, Cycling Industry Europe (CIE), agreed a new cooperation agreement that set clear targets for the growth of cycling in Europe. The role of both ECF and CIE is critical in advocating for cycling at a European level, and major changes in the policy within the EU in relation to transport and ancillary areas have occurred as a result.
Some of the agreed targets for the next decade, as agreed between ECF and CIE, are outlined here:
- Overall cycling levels to increase by 50%
- 50 million European adults who prior to 2019 “rarely or never” cycled to take up cycling
- 100,000km of new cycling infrastructure to be built in Europe
- 15 new national cycling strategies to be adopted in the UNECE/WHO Europe region
- An additional €15 billion for EU-funded cycling infrastructure projects, on top of national spending
- Fiscal and financial incentives for cycle purchase and use to total €500 million per year in tax breaks, leasing support and new bike-sharing schemes
- Bicycle and e-bike sales in Europe to grow to 30 million annually
These are undoubtedly ambitious but also achievable targets. We in Ireland must be similarly ambitious, by working at national and local levels, in pushing for better policies and radically improved and connected infrastructure. We need to encourage the “rarely” or “never cycle” cohorts to adopt changes in their lifestyles for their own benefit and for the benefit of the planet.
And as a final teaser; would you be able to describe in 5 words what cycling means to you? Try it out, and check out what Leury Kerpen of Thun Cycles in Germany, a family firm making bike parts thinks. Here are his 5 words for cycling.
Do you agree? Let us know via [email protected] what your 5 words might be, and feel free to pass on the challenge to friends and family!