Benelux and North Rhine-Westphalia aim to boost bicycle use with "BikeRoadmap"
The Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) have completed a "BikeRoadmap" with joint initiatives to boost bicycle use. Through cross-border cooperation, the Benelux countries and NRW want to highlight their ambition as 'cycling hotspot' within Europe.
A study on bicycle use in Benelux and North Rhine-Westphalia reads like a promotional campaign for cycling. The cost-benefit analysis shows not only economic benefits but also positive effects on health and traffic congestion.
Some examples: if 100.000 people were to start commuting to work by bike from now on for distances of five kilometres, this would generate 196 million euros (among other things, because people are less ill and more productive). If they travelled that same distance by car, this would equal a cost of €203 million annually. And if 1 per cent of all car kilometres travelled in the Benelux-NRW region were to be replaced by bicycle kilometres, that would yield a net gain of €13,6 billion. This would be mainly (€10 billion) in health benefits and some €3 billion in economic gains from reduced congestion.
In their BikeRoadmap, the Benelux countries and North Rhine-Westphalia commit to working on safe and comfortable cycling infrastructure, sharing and developing cycling data and setting up communication campaigns to promote cycling. Concrete joint actions include training modules in education, for instance, to promote the profession of bicycle repairer and campaigns to highlight the daily use of bicycles during major cycling races.
In the Roadmap, the countries and the NRW region also commit to taking joint positions at the EU level on cycling-related issues, such as bicycle parking standards.
© BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ