The Bike Friendly Cities project deals with promoting and facilitating the use of bicycles as sustainable, healthy and friendly means of transport in cities around the 2 Seas area. A substantial increase in bike use for urban mobility will contribute to tackling some of the major challenges faced by cities today, through reducing traffic-related greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, reducing congestion on the urban road infrastructure, improving citizens’ health by promoting cycling or increasing the urban quality of life and attracting visitors thanks to its great potential for recreation and sightseeing.
The project partners share the ambition to boost participation and to promote cycling, by providing infrastructure and services that accommodate cyclists. The role and importance of cycling in urban mobility varies greatly in the countries of the 2 Seas area. Best practice exchanges and a cross-border partnership will develop solutions based on these differing outlooks. Innovative and low-cost solutions will be tested and evaluated, such as the conversion of existing motoring roads into cycling infrastructure with priority or exclusive bike use, the creation of a bicycle ring route to organise traffic flows and the creation of Cycle Hubs offering a range of services for cyclists. To accompany these more practical measures, there will also be awareness campaigns for the general public.
Action 1:Identified best practices from partner cities and relevant external bodies, site visits to learn on-site about the best practice approaches and obstacles to becoming Bike Friendly Cities, think tank establishment with expert staff in all relevant policy fields to contribute to a development guide and give advice to partners, the design of integrated cycling strategies set up or further develop plans and strategies of the partner cities.
Action2: Next generation improved cycling infrastructure developed, focussing on new uncoventional and low-cost methods like bike friendly roundabouts, bicycle ring-road, removing some main gaps in the existing network, a 2 way-cycling track along the main roads, cycle hubs & facilities, delivery of a centre offering a range of services for cyclists, evaluation of effectiveness given the effect of the measures will be monitored.
Action 3: a joint analysis of potential user groups for cycling, comparison of user groups accross borders, engaging key stakeholder groups to involve key actors in changing attitudes towards cycling, awareness campaigns jointly developed for priority target groups, evaluation of the campaigns, the effect of the campaigns will be measured and monitored in each city. This results will be used as input for the think tanks and developing strategies.
Are all partners and territories benefitting from the results? Target groups directly addressed by the project activities are:
- actors in urban transport, mobility and development in the partner cities;
- medical practitioners and other actors in public health in the partner cities;
- schools, colleges and universities in the partner cities, as intermediaries for reaching (possible) cyclists among students and young people;
- businesses and employers in the partner cities in view of programmes to promote cycling to work; cyclists and potential future cyclists in the partner cities.
Final beneficiaries benefitting from the project in the long term or indirectly are:
- local communities in the partner cities benefit from improved environmental, mobility and public health situation;
- cities interested in developing their cycling policies and strategies in the 2 Seas region;
- actors and organisations involved in promoting cycling around the 2 Seas area, and the rest of Europe.
What are the effects / outcomes for the territories involved? The project will produce several cross-border outputs that will be integrated in local plans and policies that are in place or will be developed in partner towns. The Integrated Cycling Strategies developed in Activity 1 will be inserted in to local transport and mobility plans, like the “Plan de Déplacements Urbains” (Urban Mobility Plan) that will be created for the Boulogne agglomeration, the Local Transport Plans of Southend and Cambridgeshire and the “Gemeentelijk Verkeers- en Vervoersplan” (Municipal Mobility Plan) that will be developed for Middelburg (2012). This ensures that the activities and results of our cooperation will have a lasting impact in all the partner cities, long after the end of this Interreg project.
In addition to this the aims, activities and results of the project in terms of awareness building and creating a culture of cycling contribute to the ongoing EU-wide trends and policy efforts to promote and boost cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle and as an instrument of sustainable mobility.