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E-bikes might improve accessibility for rural residents

340 days ago

2 minutes

Source: Fietsberaad CROW

A report by the Dutch Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteitsbeleid (Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy) contains assessments and insights on the role of the electric bicycle in improving the lives of those who live in rural areas

According to a recent report by the Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy, residents of urban and rural areas experience no difference in the accessibility of jobs, education and shopping. Both in the city and in the countryside, the bicycle can play a role in improving accessibility.

The Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy recently published the report The development of mobility and accessibility in the urban and rural Netherlands. The report is based on a study into the development of mobility and accessibility from 2018 to 2040 in four types of areas: urban areas experiencing growth, urban areas experiencing decline, rural areas experiencing growth, and rural areas experiencing decline.

The accessibility of destinations such as jobs, educational institutions and shops differs between these areas, but the researchers do not see this reflected in the perception of accessibility. Although the number of facilities in rural areas is lower and the distance to them is greater, residents of these areas do not experience less accessibility to these facilities than residents of the city. Possibly car ownership, sufficient income to use the car and internet access to smartly plan or replace activities play a role here, as does the conscious choice of a residential location in relation to desired activities. The most important message of the report is therefore to include the perception of the inhabitants when looking for solutions for accessibility, in order to check whether they actually experience objectively identified problems or bottlenecks as such.

According to KiM, the car will remain the most important mode of transport in rural areas. Regular public transport is under pressure due to shrinking population numbers and can be replaced by small-scale public transport for people who depend on it, but also partly by e-bikes for distances of up to 20 kilometres. Cycle routes and fast cycle routes should improve the connection with urban areas.
In the city, because of the quality of the living environment, the reduction of the car is central in favor of public transport, cycling and walking.

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