Mon dieu, France is investing a cool $2 billion to boost cycling
First, Paris pushed ahead with an ambitious cycling plan, and now all of France is getting into the two-wheel act.
France has announced plans to invest €2 billion in promoting cycling as a mode of transport over the next four years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This investment is part of a larger initiative called the mobilities planof which the ‘plan velo’ is a key component.
The plan bike has three main goals: to make cycling and walking an attractive alternative to the private car, to support the French bicycle industry and to make cycling accessible to people of all ages.
To achieve these goals, the government plans to develop new cycling infrastructure such as safe bike lanes and bike lanes, and increase the total number of bike lanes in the country from 57,000 km to 80,000 km by 2027 and 100,000 km by 2030. Financial support The purchase of bicycles will also be extended until 2027, with the subsidy amounting to between 300 and 2,000 euros depending on the type of bicycle and household income. In addition, the government will pilot new rules in the Highway Code to encourage safer cycling and streamline bicycle traffic, e.g.
The government also wants to teach 850,000 school children a year to ride a bike and support the French bicycle industry by helping to produce over 1.4 million bicycles a year by 2027. The goal is also to encourage more cycle tourism, so the government sees potential for growth in this area.
“The state’s cycling effort is unprecedented and massive,” Transport Secretary Clement Beaune wrote on Twitter.
The French government’s investment in cycling is part of a broader effort to reduce reliance on private cars and promote more sustainable modes of transport.
Advocacy group French Bicycle Users’ Group said the investment was a “welcome decision to make cycling a realistic choice for as many people as possible.”
🇫🇷 French Transport Minister @Elisabeth_Borne reveals €20M boost for 🚴♀️🚴♂️ after lockdown.
➡️50 € bike repair voucher for everyone
➡️Additional bicycle parking space
A welcome decision to make cycling a realistic choice for as many people as possible 👍 https://t.co/tsUeW6tIG3
— FUB in English (@FUB_inENG) April 30, 2020
To achieve the goal of supporting the bicycle manufacturing sector, the government plans to introduce measures that would make it easier for French manufacturers to produce bicycles locally and reduce their dependence on imported parts.
In addition, the government wants to promote cycle tourism by developing new cycle paths and infrastructure to make France a more attractive destination for cyclists. The aim is to capitalize on the country’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, and to position France as a leading destination for cycle tourism.
Overall, the government’s Plan vélo represents a significant investment in cycling infrastructure and aims to make cycling a more accessible and attractive mode of transport for people of all ages and backgrounds. By doing this, France hopes to reduce its reliance on private cars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting local manufacturers and boosting the country’s tourism industry.
Will the move motivate other countries to follow suit? Perhaps. In 2020, the League of American Bicyclists conducted a poll and found that 60 percent of Americans polled think the federal government should invest more of their transportation dollars in programs that benefit people who bike and walk, and 78 percent of respondents agreed their community would be a better place to live if bicycling was safer and more convenient.