France | The French government has announced a €2 billion plan to develop cycling infrastructure as part of a broader project to encourage people to give up their cars.
The investment will be distributed until 2027 with the aim of doubling the networks of cycle paths in France. The government considers promoting the use of bicycles to be part of a broader framework, which is to combat climate change.
“Today, half of our trips by car are less than 5 kilometers,” said the Minister of Transport. Clement Boonein tweet. “Great cycling potential. With the #Vélo and #Marche II Plan we are mobilizing 2 billion euros, accelerating the deployment of bicycles throughout France. »
Currently, France has 50,000 km of bike paths. The government wants to increase this figure to 80,000 by 2027 and 100,000 by 2030, according to Reuters.
During the pandemic, cities like Paris have dramatically expanded bike lanes to discourage car use in the city centre. Paris was at times one of the most polluted cities in the world.
In the wake of these plans, the French government will focus much of the new spending on major cities in regions outside of Paris, as well as rural areas.
However, Plan Vélo is not limited to creating cycle paths. The new plan also includes 500 million euros in subsidies To help more people buy and maintain bicycles. The money will also go towards creating new parking areas for bikes as well as for learning to ride a bike for 850,000 young schoolchildren, according to the Reuters.
The government is also considering updating traffic rules and designing roads to encourage cycling. Thus, according to Plan Vélo, the government could install footrests on the side of the road so that cyclists do not have to get off their bikes when they are stopped at a red light. The duration of green lights can also be changed for cyclists to allow them to start riding before the cars start. Civil servants will also be able to take advantage of financial incentives to cycle to work. In addition, financial support will be given to French companies to help them build and sell More than 1.4 million bikes per year over the next four years. The government is planning reforms that will allow French manufacturers to reduce the need to import bicycle parts in order to produce more bikes in France.
In addition, the government wants to encourage bike tourism, which has seen renewed interest during the pandemic as commuters seek outdoor experiences at a slower pace.
Cycling organizations have applauded this comprehensive plan. “Not only will this wise initiative change the way our compatriots move and live, but it will also make France a world leader in promoting cycling infrastructure and culture,” he said. Oliver SchneiderPresident of the French Federation of Cyclists (FUB).
However, FUB officials also said that this plan was just the beginning. According to the FUB, France must be more aggressive in promoting bicycle use if it is to achieve its climate change goals. FUB indicated in tweet. “Today’s announcements breathe new life into the hearts of the players, but the government must roll up its sleeves to act to address the challenges of climate, health and social issues.”
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Chris O’Brien
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