From surveying 400 speed pedelec users, 80% have reduced their car usage
52 days ago
According to Kopgroep’s survey on 400 speed pedelec riders, there is a direct relationship between speed pedelec purchasing and car usage reduction. They found 80% of speed pedelec owners use the fast bicycle for commuting instead of their (second) family car. This representative research confirms the perception of these bicycles as a transport alternative in the fight against traffic congestion in the Netherlands.
The research reveals that fast bicycles are used frequently with a staggering 96% of riders using a speed pedelec for commuting, with two-thirds of these riders traveling more than twenty kilometers one way to work. 80% of them ride to work at least three days a week, with 68% riding (almost always) in bad weather. From these findings, it was calculated that the speed pedelec usage of the surveyed group covers more than 5000 km per year.
The speed pedelec is allowed to ride among motorized vehicles on the road in many urban areas. One-third of riders perceive the restricted top speed (45 km/h) of the speed pedelec as a significant risk when riding amidst cars. This is particularly relevant on roads where motorists often exceed the 50 km/h limit. In such situations, speed pedelec riders want the freedom to choose safer bicycle paths at a slower speed. The absence of this choice hinders further growth for speed pedelec usage. So far, some ministries have been reluctant to include this freedom of choice in the law.
The municipalities of Rotterdam and Amersfoort are the first to offer this freedom of choice. Speed pedelec riders in these two municipalities can apply for an exemption, allowing them to choose between riding on the roadway or, at an adjusted speed, on the bicycle path. The survey shows appreciation for this approach, but it also highlights inequality among the 342 municipalities in the Netherlands. Various municipalities, including the province of Utrecht, will follow the example set by Rotterdam and Amersfoort. Speedy cyclists would need to see solutions from an adjustment of legislation rather than relying on individual exemptions per municipality.
Better road education
The survey also indicates other road users have insufficient knowledge of the rules regarding fast bicycle riding. An information campaign to better inform road users about speed pedelec positioning on the road and bicycle paths can help encourage potential riders to make the switch from cars to bicycles.
The use of speed pedelecs means fewer cars are on the road, which helps to reduce emissions and ensure that more people meet daily physical activity requirements.
Kopgroep, is an independent group of speed pedelec riders that consult with other speed pedelec users. This survey serves as an example of their work.