EU signs off on most ambitious cycling initiative to date


Investment boost for cycling & related industries expected with new EU Declaration

Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe has welcomed today’s signing of the European Declaration on Cycling by EU leaders, saying the initiative will encourage greater uptake of cycling, safer infrastructure, and provide a boost to cycling tourism and bicycle manufacturing. Cycling is estimated to produce €150 billion in benefits each year in the EU. The Declaration signed by EU leaders today represents the most ambitious EU cycling policy to date, recognising cycling as a ‘strategic priority’ and establishing a set of commitments and principles to guide the EU’s approach to cycling in the coming years. The idea was first proposed by the Greens in the European Parliament, who secured near unanimous support among MEPs for this initiative in a February2023 vote. 


The declaration includes commitments to boost cycling across the continent, such as accelerating the rollout of safe cycling infrastructure and charging points for e-bikes; promoting cycling schemes in companies, organisations, and public bodies; creating jobs in cycle tourism and the production and maintenance of bicycles; increasing space for bicycles on buses and trains; developing EU-wide statistics on cycling; and other measures to increase cycling particularly amongst women, children, older people, and people with disabilities.

Ciarán Cuffe MEP, leader of the Greens in the European Parliament's transport committee, said:

“This is a historic milestone for cycling in Europe. Bicycles help millions of people to move around every day, and yet it has been long ignored by the EU. With this declaration, we are finally recognising the importance of cycling as a cheap and sustainable mode of transport that is helping people to get fit and healthy, without the emissions or added air pollution.
"I hope it signals the start of a much more coordinated approach to cycling policies that will be of particular benefit to Ireland, by allowing us to take more learnings from our European neighbours to transform the cycling experience in Dublin and across the country. Huge progress is already underway in this country, of course, with the recent announcement of the 3,500 km National Cycle Network.
"It's not just cyclists who stand to benefit from more cycling, either: measures to promote cycling will deliver for people right across the society with less air pollution in urban areas, better health outcomes, lower emissions, and more jobs."

April 3, 2024

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