Cycling is the most energy efficient urban transport mode with a high potential to reduce energy consumption and to enhance the liveability of European cities. However, most of this potential still has to be activated. Cycling is already a 'serious' transport mode in some countries (e.g. Netherlands and Denmark). But it can also become a high impact measure to foster energy-efficient transport patterns in countries without a real 'cycling culture'.
PRESTO contributed to effectively activate this potential! PRESTO aimed to improve energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution by increasing the modal share of cycling. It also aimed at increasing traffic safety and at improving public health by promoting physical activity. The project transfered the best European know-how on three thematic pillars:
- Infrastructure Planning, developing sound plans for better and safer cycling conditions
- Promotional 'soft measures', changing people's minds towards a real 'cycling culture'
- Promotion of pedelecs, enabling and encouraging cycling among 'sleeping' target groups, which usually would not cycle (e.g. elderly, business people, people seeking comfort).
- PRESTO has prepared four policy guides, 'Giving Cycling a Push': 1) General Cycling Framework; 2) Cycling Infrastructure (covering among others the riding bicycle, the standing bicycle and interchanges), 3) Promotion of Cycling (covering benefits, messages, approaches and evaluation); 4) Electric Bicycles (covering user groups, the market, opportunities). In addition, 25 facts sheets have been prepared, giving concrete implementation advice (available in EN, DE, IT, FR, CS, PL).
- Infrastructure: Within PRESTO, the cities are developing infrastructure implementation plans covering lane networks and bicycle parking. The plans will be the basis for establishing a real cycling culture in the cities. The Process is ongoing; the thematic leader L&P is giving advice to the partner cities.
- Promotion: Several promotional activities are taking place in all PRESTO cities. The measures will improve the image of cycling and show that cycling is fancy, healthy, and good for shape. Through all these activities, PRESTO also expects to create a demand for a new, healthy cycling lifestyle.
- Pedelecs: Within the scope of PRESTO, pedelecs (bicycles with an attached motor that assists pedalling) will be demonstrated at several events in each partner city. Citizens will get the chance to test pedelecs and thus to see for themselves the advantages and the range of application of such electric bicycles. This should affect the market of sustainable and energy-efficient e-mobility.
- E-learning: Through modularised on-site training sessions and e-learning classes, interested stakeholders will be trained by selected experts and will gain knowledge on different cycling issues and policies. A professional e-learning product will be available by the end of the project's lifetime for all interested European stakeholders.