UCI want European Union to commit to doubling cycle usage

The UCI and UEC have called on the European Union to create a cycling strategy that can be implemented across Europe

Britain may have voted in favour of leaving the European Union, but one if its natives, UCI president Brian Cookson, is behind a campaign to encourage the union to implement a continent-wide cycling strategy.

Cookson, and European Cycling Union (UEC) vice-president Madis Lepajõe, have met with EU Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip to encourage the EU to create and then adopt a cycling strategy across its member states, which currently counts at 28.

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The UCI and UEC want the EU to recognise cycling as a key mode of transport, citing figures in Netherlands that reveals 26 percent of all journeys are made my bikes (compared to the continent average of seven percent). Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, reported this week that bike usage now exceeds cars in the city.

A cycling strategy would include the commitment to double cycling usage in the continent, as well as seeing the EU set targets to eliminate vehicles from city centres, which would in turn help reduce CO2 emissions.

Cycling infrastructure schemes and other developments account for less than 10 percent of transport budgets in Europe, the UCI claimed.

The campaign is led by the European Cyclists Federation and it also wants the EU to improve cross-border cycle routes and support cycling developments in local regions. Additionally, it has been mooted that there could be changes to tax, pubic health and environmental strategies which would incentives people to cycle more.

In an attempt to persuade the EU, research conducted by the UCI found that should the percentage of the world’s population using the bike as its primary mode of transport match that of the Netherlands by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions from other forms of transport would be reduced by 10 percent.