Adam was initially an ECF board member from 2004 to 2010 and it was in that capacity that he first began working on EuroVelo. He supported the implementation of the EuroVelo Council (initiated in 2006 as a working group) and then collaborated closely to develop an ambitious strategy for the network for the period up to 2020. Remarkably many of the targets laid out at that time were met during the productive years that followed.
After successfully applying for several EU grants, Adam switched from board member to staff member in 2011, joining the ECF's team in Brussels. These projects led to a series of ‘firsts’, including the first dedicated transnational EuroVelo website and the first database providing an overview of the current status of the network. They saw the introduction of a formal procedure for the appointment of the vitally important National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators (NECC/Cs) that are responsible for developing the routes on the national level today.
Halfway through 2011, ECF was able to appoint a second member of staff to work with Adam on EuroVelo and by the end of 2019 the team had grown to seven members working fully or largely on the network.
It was also in 2011 that a robust methodology was developed for the addition of new routes - for the first time since the original 12 routes were defined in 1995. Under Adam’s watch EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail, EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Cycle Route and later EuroVelo 17 – Rhone Cycle Route and EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route were added.
Adam was responsible for achieving wider recognition of the EuroVelo network on the European level. Perhaps most notably, the ECF were able to achieve that a reference to EuroVelo – and cycling generally – was included in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Guidelines for the first time in 2014.
The past eight years have also seen the creation of European standards for network development, the establishment of the EuroVelo cycling tourism conference series, numerous EU projects dedicated to different parts of the network, as well as new communication tools on the European level. EuroVelo has now attracted cycle infrastructure investment worth hundreds of millions of Euros across Europe.
All this will serve as an impressive legacy and represents a strong foundation for the ECF’s EuroVelo Team to build on over the course of the next decade. We would like to thank Adam for his important contribution and we wish him well with his future career.
Author(s): Ed Lancaster