Based on a joint initiative from France, Austria and the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) “THE PEP Partnership on Cycling” was set up in 2014 within the framework of the Transport, Health, Environment Pan-European Programme by UNECE/WHO. Cycle Competence members BMLFUW and Verracon are actively contributing to the transnational process as representatives for Austria and as partnership managers respectively.
In a high-level THE PEP Partnership on Cycling workshop in Belgrade, the national cycling traffic coordinators from France, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary discussed possibilities to create a national cycling strategy for Serbia. The starting position is looking good. Both in Belgrade as well as in the Vojvodina decision makers set ambitious goals: Belgrade wants to increase the share of cycling traffic over five years from 0.7% to 5%. To achieve this the cycling network is to be more than doubled in size, among other measures.
These ambitious goals are to be supported on a national level as well. The responsible undersecretaries from the departments of environment, health and sports have assured support from the national level fro local and regional cycling initiatives. The framework for promoting cycling is to be created with a national cycling strategy and a national cycling traffic coordinator. For this the recommendations from the pan-European master plan for cycling will be applied for the first time. The already available draft aims to create national cycling strategies in all 56 THE PEP member states and contains specific instruction manuals for interested states.
On the day before the workshop, the official kick-off-event for the Interreg project “Transdanube.Pearls” took place. More than 100 representatives from the areas of mobility and tourism were discussing possibilities to create a network of destinations dedicated to sustainable mobility. Promoting cycling tourism is the focus of the considerations. The regions along the Danube see cycling tourism as a chance to create new jobs in structurally week and very often peripheral regions. The project Transdanube.Pears is led by the Environment Agency Austria (“Umweltbundesamt”) and supported by the BMLFUW.
Photos: Wikimedia C0mmons; Verracon GmbH 2017