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Strong autumn figures confirm sustained growth in cycling on EuroVelo network

Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Despite new mobility patterns, cycling on EuroVelo network remains above 2019 levels both during weekdays and weekends

The cycling boom that has translated into increased cycling levels all around Europe, skyrocketing demand for new bikes, and substantial investments in new infrastructure everywhere on the continent, is also visible on EuroVelo, the European network of long-distance cycling routes. According to the regular analysis carried out by Eco-Counter in partnership with the European Cyclists’ Federation, cycling levels on the network have increased by 13% on weekends, 1% on weekdays, and 4% in total, in the period from January 2021 to October 2021, compared with the same period in the pre-pandemic year 2019.


The analysis is based on data from a representative sample of 170 automatic counters from Eco-Counters comprehensive network. When interpreting these results, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of stay-at-home orders, mandatory working from home, etc. were in place during 2021, which reduced mobility, and especially commuting. Against this background, the fact that cycling levels still increased with 1% during weekdays is very impressive. The much larger effect during weekends, with an increase of 13%, is a strong indicator for the increased popularity of leisure cycling all across Europe. When looking at the figures for the autumn months September and October, the increase is even more sustained: 11% on weekdays, 19% on weekends, and 13% for the full week average, showing that after the summer holidays, and with less restrictions in place, also weekday cycling has grown considerably compared to before the pandemic.

On certain routes, the increase is even higher: This is the case of EuroVelo route 3, the Pilgrims Route, where cycling increased with 13% during weekdays and 33% during weekends, for a total increase of 19% between September/October 2021 and the same period in 2019 at the 18 counting sites in the sample for this route.

EV3 Galicia , copyright MarcGasch
EV3 Galicia , copyright MarcGasch

EuroVelo 3 is the route for everyone who enjoys diversity, both in landscapes and activities: It will give you a taste of some of Europe’s famous pilgrims routes and along the roughly 5,300 km-long way you will be able to discover some of the continent’s most impressive religious buildings, including the magnificent cathedrals of Cologne, Aachen and Santiago de Compostela. At the same time, you will pass through many exciting cities famous for their unbeatable nightlife, including Hamburg, Liège and Paris.

Information about data collection

This publication on the usage of the EuroVelo network is based on a partnership between ECF and Eco-Counter. The two organisations have joined forces to work together closely in collecting, analysing and communicating data related to the EuroVelo network at the European level.

The aggregated results for the usage of the EuroVelo network so far this year are based on data from a sample of 170 automatic counters installed by Eco-Counter and its local partners. For the sample, we have selected counters where we found that there was a minimum level of representativity, both in number of counters and in number of countries along the route represented. This is currently the case for EuroVelo routes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15 and 17. We publish data on the usage of the network as a whole, and on featured routes, regularly. In the future, we hope to be able to grow this sample and make it even more representative, as more counters are placed along the routes all around Europe.