These countries which promote cycling in Europe and those which despise it

These countries which promote cycling in Europe and those which despise it

Although many European states have introduced cycling plans to encourage the practice of soft mobility, others are still dragging their feet. The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) today distributes its good and bad points in this area.

The ECF has just published the third edition of its report on the state of national cycling strategies, which provides an overview of progress made in the development of cycling policies across Europe. As a reminder, the Pan-European Master Plan for the Promotion of Cycling, adopted in 2021 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), recommends that each State develop and implement a national policy in favor of cycling. But this is not yet the case everywhere.

In 2023, four countries will nevertheless be added to the list of those that now have a national cycling strategy in progress. These are Belarus, Croatia, Hungary and Israel. Note that three other countries have adopted policies similar to a national cycling strategy: Ireland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

In total, of the 54 countries covered by this report, only 14 countries currently have a real national strategy in favor of cycling. This is particularly the case for Europe, Central Europe, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Seven others have implemented a similar strategy even if it is not yet a real national “plan”. Among them are Norway, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

These strategies generally include interventions on infrastructure (in 21 countries), road safety (17), intermodality (16) and traffic laws (16). Financially speaking, Ireland is the leading investor with a budget equivalent to 72 euros per inhabitant per year. Followed by Luxembourg (52 euros), the Belgian region of Flanders (48 euros) and Scotland (40 euros). In Europe, the bicycle plan represents less than 10 euros per year per inhabitant.

At the same time, four other countries have a national strategy that has expired and must be updated (Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia and Sweden), as well as eight countries experimenting with a first dedicated policy, currently being implemented. development (Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine).

There remain 21 countries where absolutely no strategy for the development of cycling is currently envisaged. These bad students are named Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Iceland, Poland, Turkey and even Russia. In fact, almost all of Eastern Europe, from the Western Balkans to Central Asia via the Caucasus, is still reluctant to establish a national cycling strategy.

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