Brussels, Belgium – To help national and local stakeholders streamline efforts to promote cycling, 54 countries yesterday adopted the first ever Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion at the Fifth High-Level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment (THE PEP). “A historic milestone,” says Manuel Marsilio, general manager of the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) who supported the elaboration of the plan.
“We want to say special thanks to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the Transport Health and Environment Pan-European Program for inviting CONEBI to speak at the high-level ministerial meeting and especially for allowing us and World Bicycle Industry Association to contribute to the Masterplan for Cycling Promotion,” says Manuel Marsilio. “Last but not least, it was great to support the work and the lead of the European Cyclists’ Federation in this very important milestone.”
The Master Plan includes seven key objectives to be implemented by 2030: significantly increase cycling in the region; provide appropriate space in favour of active mobility; extend and improve cycling infrastructure; develop and implement national cycling policies, plans, strategies and programmes; significantly increase cyclists’ safety and reduce the number of fatalities and series injuries; integrate cycling into health policies; and integrate cycling and cycling infrastructure into land use, urban, regional and transport infrastructure planning.
“Cycling brings a triple benefit to our societies: boosting local economy with more green jobs, increasing people’s health and protecting actively our climate.” said Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology of Austria.
During the pandemic, cycling emerged as both an effective way to support physical distancing and provide daily physical activity, and an effective mode of transport for essential trips. Many countries have witnessed important increases in bicycle usage during the pandemic, and have supported with initiatives such as pop-up cycle lanes, opening up possibilities for lasting policy shifts.
“The Master Plan for Cycling Promotion is a prime example for inter-sectoral as well as international cooperation to address the global challenges we are facing today. Cycling is associated with a lower risk of cardio-vascular diseases and by promoting this healthy mode of transport, we aim at curbing air pollution and traffic noise. The adoption of this pan-European Master Plan marks a milestone in building a healthier and more sustainable future in Europe,” said Dr Wolfgang Mückstein, Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection of Austria.
Implementing the Master Plan can unlock major benefits which include, the promoting of policies conducive to healthy and safe modes of transport, stimulating job creation by contributing sustainable economic development, the promotion of a more efficient transport system, the reduction of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the plan the cycling industry and cycling tourism have high economic potential. In the pan-European region, an estimated 750,000 jobs are connected to cycling. Doubling the modal share of cycling in the European Union would create an additional 400,000 jobs and an additional €3.5 billion turnover in retail bicycle sales.
Increasing cycling can accelerate progress towards several Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. For example, cycling supports healthy and non-polluting lifestyles (Goal 3 Good health and well-being); creates jobs and fosters tourism (Goal 8 decent work and economic growth); and contributes to decarbonizing mobility (Goal 13 (Climate action), as the plan concludes.
Source: Bike Europe