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New Routes

Every three years it is possible to apply to the ECF to make a major extension to one of the existing EuroVelo routes or to add a completely new route to the network. Several major extensions and routes have joined the network in this way over the years, including EuroVelo 17 – Rhone Cycle Route, EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route and a major extension to EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route in Turkey.

The application process is set out in a document called the EuroVelo Route Coordination Rules, which has been updated in February 2022 for the first time since 2016.

This document includes a detailed explanation of the process, as well as a presentation of the basis for decision-making to ensure a consistency in the network as a whole.

Network development priorities

In line with the route network work programme set out in the EuroVelo Strategy, the main priority for the coming decade is to improve the quality of existing EuroVelo routes. Quality will be privileged over quantity, with the aim to bring as many sections of the network to a sufficient route quality standard as possible.

However, the objectives of EuroVelo for the current decade also include encouraging the development of a more geographically balanced EuroVelo network, sharing European best practices, and bringing cycling and cycle tourism to areas less developed in this regard. This belongs to the broader objective of achieving more sustainable policies and practices in the transport and tourism sectors.

The objective of encouraging the development of a more geographically balanced EuroVelo network therefore indicates that new route proposals shall be supported primarily in areas of Europe where there are currently few EuroVelo routes.

More details can be found in the EuroVelo Route Coordination Rules.

Criteria

The usual process takes three years, but an additional six-year procedure has been introduced to cater for more complex developments. Before applying, the following basic criteria must be fulfilled by the new route or major section, where relevant:

  • At least two countries are involved;
  • The total route length is at least 1,000 km;
  • The proposed route number is consistent with the numbering system of the EuroVelo network;
  • It contributes to achieving a geographically balanced EuroVelo network (particularly covering areas currently without any European routes);
  • It is easy to communicate, with internationally recognisable identity and name;
  • It contributes to increasing the marketing value of the network;
  • Signing is/will be implemented in accordance with the regulations of the respective nations and/or regions, continuously and in both directions;
  • All NECCs, as well as other relevant stakeholders, along the route are supportive of the proposal.

Additionally, by the end of the process 90% of the route’s or major section’s daily sections should meet the essential criteria of the European Certification Standard. This new criterium aims to ensure the good quality level of new sections of the EuroVelo network.

Submitting an application

Applications for new and changed routes can be submitted to the ECF every three years. The next deadline for submitting applications is on 31 December 2022.

Draft proposals can be submitted for feedback by 30 June 2022. Please send all applications to [email protected]

There are cost implications for the ECF for evaluating and (potentially) approving new and changed routes or sections, as well as for supporting new routes and major section proposals in areas of Europe where cycling tourism is less developed or less of a priority, in the case of a six-year process. These costs include among other things the time spent on the application and site visits of the route, support and lobby work, guidance on the route development process and action planning, communication and branding activities.

The information that must be included in an application depending on the type of action, as well as the details of the costs, can be found in the EuroVelo Route Coordination Rules.