How to promote the use of bicycles among citizens? Recently, many proposals have been made to promote the use of the bicycle as a means of transport, the vast majority from countries that are at the forefront of sustainable mobility by bicycle, such as the Netherlands.
There are many reasons to include the bicycle in our daily life, but the Northern European countries show once again that they are at the forefront of measures in promoting sustainable mobility by bicycle.
With more than 22 million bicycles for 17 million inhabitants (bicycles / resident), the government is committed to promoting their use as the key mode of transport at all ages and encourage cycling through infrastructures and cycle lanes.
This requires the government’s involvement, which has been approving new tax incentives since 1 January to promote mobility by bicycle. These include the following:
1) Fee for use. The Dutch government and the business community have negotiated a tax-free commuting allowance of 0.19 euros per km per bicycle. The goal is to reduce car use and improve the health of the residents.
2) Interest-free loan for the purchase of a bicycle. When you are employed in the Netherlands, you can receive an interest-free loan, with the option to repay this loan each kilometer cycled.
3) Chance to rent a bicycle from the company you work for.
More than 35,000 km of cycle lanes and 400 million euros per year in infrastructure
Here some curious data, what the bicycle means in this country.
The Netherlands have more than 35,000 km of cycle lanes and an average budget of 400 million euros per yearto spend on cycling infrastructure.
The number of bicycles is 22.3 million in the Netherlands, which with 17 million inhabitants makes an average of 14 million trips by bicycle per working day.
In Amsterdam, for example, the use of the means of transport is in the following order: 36% of the inhabitants move through the city by bicycle, followed by the car with 24%, 23% on foot and 16% by public transport.
The “Stationsplein Utrecht” is located 55 km from Amsterdam, in the city of Utrecht, with a daily average of 125,000 cyclists, making it the largest bicycle parking facility in the world with 12,500 places.
Cycling lessons at primary schools
The Virtual reality simulators during cycling lessons were one of the most governmental innovative measures. “Our project was created in 2015, the year that the Tour de France started in Utrecht,” says Lex van Dalfsen, from Fietsmeesters and pioneer in this initiative. “We have reached nearly 3,500 children with our program, allowing more children to pass their cycling exams,” he adds.
Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands with 230,000 inhabitants. City well known as the head office of Philips and PSV. The curious and incredible about this town is its completely car-free urban center, thanks to the construction of a hanging roundabout called the “Hovenring”.
With all these initiatives and innovations, Spain has still a lot to do. With hope and work one finds a balance between bicycle and car.
Source: Dutch Cycling Embassy / Planeta Triatlón