- Cycling helps EU’s green transition
- Its infrastructure lacks investment
- Designate 2024 as the European Year of Cycling
More dedicated cycling lanes, parking places for bikes and reduced VAT rate could help boost EU cycling industry and facilitate green transition, say transport MEPs.
The draft resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy, adopted by Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) on Tuesday by 38 votes to 1, advocates for cycling to be recognised as a fully-fledged mode of transport. It highlights the benefits cycling could bring to EU’s green transition: better health, reduced road congestion and noise pollution, improved air quality and economic growth. Therefore, transport MEPs asks the Commission to develop a European cycling strategy with an aim of doubling the number of kilometres cycled in Europe by 2030.
How to overcome cycling obstacles?
Lack of secured parking and dedicated cycling lanes, but also insufficient measures to prevent theft are some of the obstacles preventing cycling to grow in cities, say MEPs. They want regional and local authorities to integrate cycling, affordable e-bikes and bike sharing schemes into urban mobility plans. More synergies with other transport modes, such as more places for bikes in trains or more secured parking areas for bikes at stations, could also help cycling industry.
MEPs on the Transport and Tourism Committee encourage EU governments and local authorities to significantly increase investments in the construction of separated cycling infrastructure. VAT rates for the supply, rental and repair of bikes and e-bikes should be reduced, they add.
Transport MEPs also call on the Commission to designate 2024 as the European Year of Cycling.
EP rapporteur and TRAN chair Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR) said: "With this vote today in the Transport and Tourism Committee, the European Parliament is one-step away from adopting its very first position on cycling and finally asserting that cycling is a transport mode that should be put on equal footing with the other modes.
I am very proud of the TRAN committee for having taken a stance on such an important issue. We all agree about the many benefits of cycling: better health, less congestion, more liveable cities, but so far, we were lacking from the EU institutions a strong signal that recognizes the central role of cycling in our societies. Calling for a dedicated European strategy and for the cycling industry to be recognized as a key partner in the European industrial strategy are important steps toward this change of mind-set within our institutions that will have tremendous impacts on the ground."
The draft resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy now needs to be voted by the full house of the Parliament, possibly during its meeting in Strasbourg in February.