— 2024 to be named the European Year of Cycling.
MEPs in the European Parliament this week near-unanimously voted to call on the European Commission to “develop a dedicated European cycling strategy with the aim of doubling the number of kilometres cycled in Europe by 2030”.
The approved resolution on cycling also calls on the Commission to ensure the harmonised collection of data on cycling, including industrial data; greater EU recognition of the cycling industry; and for the “Commission and the Member States to ensure the accessibility of cycling to persons with reduced mobility, as well as making cycling affordable for vulnerable groups”.
Jill Warren, CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation, said: “This important resolution, which reflects many of our longstanding advocacy and policy demands, represents a key milestone for cycling. We applaud the entire European Parliament for adopting an EU Cycling Strategy that can unlock cycling’s potential to enable more people to cycle – and to cycle more safely – all across Europe.”
Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe said the call for the strategy was made on the initiative of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.
MEP Cuffe said: “This strategy is a golden opportunity to take the learnings from our European neighbours and transform the cycling experience in Dublin. It’s not just about cycling infrastructure in Amsterdam and Copenhagen: it’s also about jobs in bicycle production and maintenance from Romania to Ireland, as well as boosting cycling tourism, which is worth tens of billions of euros to the European economy.”
“Bicycles can no longer be the poor relation in EU transport policy, there is now commitment across the board to give substantial investment and support to cycling across the EU. This is already reflected in draft EU laws that will legislate for better cycling infrastructure and better conditions for the cycling industry in Europe,” he said.
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Cuffe added: “This approach will deliver for people right across the society and even for those who don’t cycle; with less air pollution in urban areas, better health outcomes, lower emissions, and more jobs.”