First Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion adopted

1050 days ago

3 minutes

Source: Eltis by Conall Martin – The first ever pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion was adopted on 18 May 2021 at the Fifth High-Level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment (THE PEP). The plan represents a major boost for cycling, one of the most sustainable, inclusive, safe, and healthy forms of mobility.

The Master Plan – which brings together the experience and expertise of cycling experts from 28 countries all over the pan-European region – is designed to help national and local stakeholders streamline efforts to promote cycling.

Althoug LEVA-EU obviously welcomes this plan, the association regrets the fact that the Plan only deals with cycling. Active mobility no longer consists of cycling and walking only but has been considerably enriched with a wide range of light, electric vehicles. LEVA-EU plans to appeal to THE PEP about this shortcoming and to offer assistance so as to include LEVs in the planned pan-European ‘Competence Centre for Active Mobility, mentioned below.

The Plan outlines 7 key objectives to be implemented by 2030:

  1. Significantly increase cycling in the region
  2. Provide appropriate space in favour of active mobility
  3. Extend and improve cycling infrastructure
  4. Develop and implement national cycling policies, plans, strategies and programmes
  5. Significantly increase cyclists’ safety and reduce the number of fatalities and series injuries
  6. Integrate cycling into health policies
  7. Integrate cycling and cycling infrastructure into land use, urban, regional and transport infrastructure planning

Implementing the Master Plan can unlock a wide range of benefits for public health and safety, the environment as well as the economy. For example, doubling the current level of cycling would prevent 30,000 premature deaths (primarily from increased physical activity), with indirect economic benefits amounting to €78 billion per year.

In addition, the cycling industry and cycling tourism have high economic potential, so promoting cycling can contribute to sustainable economic development and stimulate job creation. An estimated 750,000 jobs are connected to cycling in the pan-European region. 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.

Another important benefit is the reduction of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. Doubling the current level of cycling would reduce GHG emissions by 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)*, with indirect economic benefits of €1.1 billion per year.

Increasing cycling can also accelerate progress towards several Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, such as by helping decarbonize mobility (Goal 13 – Climate Action) and by supporting healthy and non-polluting lifestyles (Goal 3 – Good health and well-being).

In order to help all countries in the region unlock the potential of cycling, the Master Plan includes 33 recommendations, grouped under 11 areas. These include developing and implementing a national cycling policy, supported by a national cycling plan, creating user-friendly cycling infrastructure, and making use of new technology and innovation.

The continuing cooperation between member States of THE PEP, through sharing statistical data, good practices, and providing adequate infrastructure and funding, will accelerate the achievement of the Master Plan’s objectives. A pan-European ‘Competence Centre for Active Mobility’ will be designed and established within the framework of THE PEP in order to further support the implementation of the Plan. This will aim to build upon the experiences and practices of THE PEP Member States.


* 8 million tonnes of CO2e equals 1,75 million passenger vehicles driven for one year, 32 billion kilometres driven by passenger cars or 4 million tonnes coal burned. Calculated with the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Photo: Klever Mobility.

Annick Roetynck

Annick is the Manager of LEVA-EU, with decades of experience in two-wheeled and light electric mobility.

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