Substantial subsidies for cycling passed across Europe

Political pressure from cyclists as well as political conviction in decision-makers render powerful subsidy packages possible. These can boost cycling traffic. Here we are providing a European look on current developments: Frankfurt has earmarked €21m, the Netherlands €75m and Portugal is also investing heavily.

Frankfurt’s “Radentscheid” gets subsidy package

Over the summer the city of Frankfurt has decided on a comprehensive package on subsidy measures to boost cycle traffic. The 15-page paper (German version) with a financial volume of around €21m is based on demands made by the Frankfurt citizens initiative “Radentscheid” last year. The actual results are remarkable: Among other things the city wants to create 45km of new or refurbished cycle lanes by 2023. New or expanded cycle lanes are to be at least 2.3m wide for a single direction.

Pressure from politics, environmental activists and the cyclists themselves was necessary to achieve this package. Even the environmental ministry had put pressure on the city to ensure the NO2-limits are observed all over the city. Apart from the cycling-friendly measures the city’s magistrate also decided to increase parking fees in the inner city from currently €3 to €4 per hour. This should discourage drivers to go into the inner city and encourage them to use public transports and bicycles more often.

The Netherlands have not had enough

The new climate treaty signed by the Dutch government is set to halve the CO2-emission by 2030. Among other things €75m were earmarked for cycle parking at public transport hubs. For more information on how serious the Dutch take their cycle parking see our separate article in this newsletter here.

Further, the Dutch government wants to create a cycle path network suitable for cargo bikes and make it mandatory for large building projects to include cycling infrastructure. This is impressive proof that even at a high level as the “cycling nation No 1” has already achieved, further investments into expansion and more infrastructure are necessary.

Lisbon does more

The left-wing Portugal government – which is set to continue its work after the elections in early October – has decided on a cycling strategy in July. In it, the target was set to increase the number of existing cycle lanes by 400% by the year 2030. In total, Portugal will then have 8,000km of cycling infrastructure – currently there are 2,000km.

This goes to show that also at the other end of the cycling scale – Portugal only has 1% cycling share – targeted investments into climate-friendly mobility are being made.

The following visualisation by shows how much each city is spending on cycling per citizen per year – and it illustrates the enormous differences:

Posted on October 7, 2019