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Cycling, an active mode of transport

More than 80% of the European population is expected to live in urban areas by 2030, with cities playing a crucial role in promoting and protecting health and well-being.

2019, March 28th

Cycling, an active mode of transport

Loes Holtmaat, Development Officer, European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF)

The promotion of cycling on all levels

At the European Cyclist’ Federation (ECF), cycling as an active and sustainable mode of transport promoted on a European level, with the help of member organizations from national and local levels. Cycling has many positive impacts on health and the environment and it is therefore an important investment in health and productivity across all ages and most importantly an investment in the future. Current levels of cycling in the EU prevent more than 27,000 premature deaths annually due to the physical inactivity, with an economic savings of EUR 96.5 billion estimated with the WHO HEAT tool. Cycling to school and for recreation at a young age helps to generate life-long benefits such as halting the rise of obesity for children.

Cities are becoming more active

Many cities are realizing how active transportation could positively contribute to healthier and happier citizens, and are thus implementing progressive projects to promote sustainable and efficient transportation. Cycling is slowly becoming recognized as an essential component when adopting new models of urban development and planning sustainable cities.

The city of Rome, for example, decided to encourage Rugby fans to reach their stadium by bike, providing free secured bike parking and offering a map with clearly marked cycle-paths. Another example is Ljubljana, which has become one of the top cycling cities in Europe in terms of the cycling percentage in the total modal split. Today in Ljubljana, 12% of all journeys are made by bicycle. Ljubljana has again been working strategically towards more cycling, combined with walking, in the city, with local NGOs acting as important advocates and pushing the cycling agenda.

National governments across Europe are also seeing the benefits of sustainable and active mobility, and are taking cycling more seriously. At the end of 2017, the Italian Parliament approved the Framework Law on Cycling Mobility. With this law, cycling is recognized in the same way as other means of transport and no longer as a hobby. Similarly, the “Parlons Vélo” Campaign from ECF’s French member FUB was acknowledged by the French Minister of Transportation who announced a new ambitious national cycling plan to be implemented.

A proud member of PACTE project

ECF is happy to see cycling being more regularly included in discussions about urban planning and sustainable transport. That is why we are a proud member of the PACTE project, striving towards stimulating discussions on the benefits of cycling on health and encouraging governments to implement cycling as an active mode of transport.

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