Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Pitane Image

As of today, provinces and transport regions can rely on a special budget from the government, aimed at investments in cycle routes.

State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen of Infrastructure and Water Management has made an amount of 18 million euros available for this purpose. This budget is intended to work in collaboration with regional authorities on a national network of cycle routes, which is an important step in improving cycling accessibility and road safety.

The benefits of cycling are increasingly recognized as a crucial solution to various societal challenges. Cycling is not only cost-efficient, but also beneficial to health and the environment, while also reducing traffic congestion. At the end of 2022, the government already made a one-off 780 million euros available to improve the cycling accessibility of new residential areas. This money was invested in the construction of new bicycle bridges, tunnels, bicycle routes to stations and additional bicycle sheds. The current budget makes structural money available for the first time for the construction of cycle routes, with 6 million euros annually. By bundling the budget for the next three years, 18 million euros will be released this year.

Secretary of State Heijnen underlined the importance of this investment: “The fact that we are now making structural money available for the first time for the construction of cycle routes is a strong signal. We want more people to take their bikes and it helps if there are safe cycle paths on which cyclists can cycle comfortably. This is good for children who go to school in the area, and for employees who go to work in another city by electric bicycle. With these 18 million euros we can take great steps again.”

Read also  Review: Lydia Peeters brings 2,2 billion euros of investments to Limburg

Through cycle routes are wide, comfortable cycle paths that connect urban and rural areas. They improve the accessibility of commuting locations and encourage people to cycle more often. The Netherlands currently has approximately 750 kilometers of cycle routes, and the construction of another 2030 kilometers is planned until 1.400.

The annual Tour de Force study shows that many plans are ready for new cycle routes. Applications for financing are assessed on criteria such as the route's contribution to encouraging bicycle use in combination with public transport and improving road safety. The applications are scheduled to be awarded in the autumn of 2024.

(Text continues below the photo)
Photo: Vivianne Heijnen during plenary debate

"We want more people to take their bikes and it helps if safe cycle paths are constructed on which cyclists can cycle comfortably."

The development of cycle routes fits within the government's broader policy to promote sustainable mobility. In addition to the benefits for public health and the environment, the bicycle plays an important role in reducing CO2 emissions and reducing traffic jams. This is in line with the objectives of the Climate Agreement and the ambitions to make the Netherlands climate neutral by 2050.

As part of this policy, various provinces and municipalities are working to improve cycling infrastructure. For example, the province of Utrecht recently invested in the construction of new cycle routes between Utrecht and Amersfoort. The province of North Brabant is also working on expanding its network of fast cycle paths, with projects that better connect cities such as Eindhoven, Tilburg and Breda.

Read also  Review: Lydia Peeters brings 2,2 billion euros of investments to Limburg

Local and regional initiatives play a crucial role in the success of the national cycling policy. Municipalities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam have already taken significant steps in improving cycling infrastructure, including the construction of new cycle paths and the expansion of bicycle parking spaces. These local efforts are now supported by the national budget, which further strengthens cooperation between different levels of government.

The new investments will not only improve infrastructure, but also stimulate a culture of cycling. This contributes to a healthier, more sustainable and more efficient society. The coming years will be crucial in further expanding the cycling network and realizing the ambitious plans that are currently on the table.

Related articles: