Last week, the European Parliament adopted an historic resolution calling for the European Commission to develop a European cycling strategy with the aim of doubling the number of kilometres cycled in Europe by 2030. ECF, along with its advocacy partners, actively supported this resolution and the recognition of cycling as a fully-fledged mode of transport. The resolution includes specific mention of EuroVelo and the need to accelerate its development.
EuroVelo in the resolution
The European Parliament resolution sets out a comprehensive list of actions to support the further development of cycling in Europe as a fully-fledged mode of transport and a growing economic sector. EuroVelo is explicitly mentioned in the text: ‘The European Parliament (…) stresses that cycling tourism and cycling in rural areas need to be supported by accelerating the development of the EuroVelo network and its 17 routes, in particular by ensuring stronger support as well as exploiting synergies with the TEN-T network’.
EuroVelo could also benefit from other actions included in the resolution such as:
- Developing a dedicated European cycling strategy with the aim of doubling the number of kilometres cycled in Europe by 2030 and harmonised collection of data on cycling
- Encouraging synergies between cycling and other modes of transport, such as making more places available for bikes inside trains
- Taking cycling into account when building or upgrading TEN-T infrastructure
- Encouraging Member States and local authorities to significantly increase investments in the construction of cycling infrastructure
- Encouraging projects in cycling industry and related sectors such as mobility, tourism, health and sport among others
- Calling on the Commission to designate 2024 as the European Year of Cycling.
Next steps for the EU cycling strategy
The adoption of this Resolution under MEP Karima Delli’s initiative is a crucial milestone to shape a future European policy on cycling. ECF, CIE, CONEBI and EBMA now urge the European Commission to rapidly act upon the extensive list of policy recommendations set out by the European Parliament, and bring forward an EU Cycling Strategy.
The Resolution will need the support from Member States, of which 11 have already signed the Belgium-led European Cycling Declaration, which calls for an EU action plan to prioritise cycling, and more Member States will likely follow.
What impact for EuroVelo?
EuroVelo is a key project for long-distance cycling corridors in Europe, a backbone for national and local cycle route networks, an attractive brand for cycling tourism in Europe and an inspiration for the development of cycling in rural areas. It could benefit strongly from the recognition and support of an EU cycling strategy in multiple ways. One important step forward would be to improve the TEN-T guidelines for cycling by integrating EuroVelo into the TEN-T and systematically integrate elements of walking and cycling infrastructure into all TEN-T projects and network developments.
Article by Agathe Daudibon
Read more about the Resolution on the ECF website.
Cover image: Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0