France: PAMA, A bicycle kilometric allowance

נשלח 12 במרץ 2014, 13:22 על ידי Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 7 בפבר׳ 2015, 9:19 ]
Thomas Mouray, ECF, 11/3/2014

The new governmental transport plan aims at promoting cycle. Photo credit: flickr philippe leroyer

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014 the French Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier has made an especially positive announcement concerning cycling, through the PAMA (Plan d’Actions pour les Mobilités Actives or Action Plan for Active Mobility). Among the 25 proposals were encouraging businesses to provide financial incentives for commuting by bike and governmental support to Velo-city 2015 in Nantes organized by ECF.

As ECF previously announced, the French government has officially proposed on the March 5, 2014 a new Mobility Plan dedicated to ‘active mobility’: cycling and walking. The announcement of the French Transport Minister is based on the work of a steering committee which included the three French ECF members (DRC, AF3V and FUB), as well as other associations and public authorities. Six main topics were selected: development of multimodal structures, safety, economy, urbanism, tourism and education. Overall, the aim is to promote cycling (and walking) as more environmental-friendly, healthier and cheaper ways of transport.

A bicycle kilometric allowance

PAMA flagship project aims to create incentives for cycling to work. In order to encourage commuting by bike, volunteer companies will reimburse 25 cents per kilometer to employees who come to the office by bike. In return these companies will benefit from more efficient and less stressed employees. After a test period, the Agency for environment and energy management (ADEME) will assess the impact of the allowance. Good results could lead to new concrete measures. To make cycling to work more motivating, intermodal solutions will be implemented as well: more trains will accept bicycles and bigger bike parking spaces will be created next to railway stations. Additionally, new bicycle parking facilities will open next to business buildings and some residential areas.

Safer cities for cyclists

Some proposals will have an impact on road-sharing. For instance, cyclists will be able to continue pedaling through an intersection at a red traffic light if the place has been adapted for such bicycle use. Concerning car drivers, they will now be allowed to cross white lines to overtake cyclists. Furthermore, cars will now have to pay 135€ (instead of 35€) if they park on cycle paths. The French Minister of Transport, Frédéric Cuvillier also wants to expand the geographical scope where the speed limit is below 50km/h. Cyclists will be allowed to ride in both directions on the streets where these lower speed limits occur. Ceri Woolsgrove, road safety Officer at ECF, says that“reducing speed of motorized vehicles is one of the major ways of lowering cycling casualties as well as making the roads seem safer which in turn increases cycling numbers. Allowing contraflow cycling is another excellent proposal to give advantages to cycling over other modes. These and the other proposals could make a difference to both bike promotion and bike safety.”  When it comes to cycling education, PAMA proposes the development of current bike-to-school programs in combination with the creation of Vélo-Ecoles in large cities. These associative Vélo-Ecoles are aimed at a large audience, including children as well as adults. The goal of these ‘bike-schools’ is to make people more confident and feel safer when they ride their bicycles on roads.

Development of bike-tourism

Tourism by bike has been acknowledged as one of the growing tourism trends. The development of this type of tourism could have, according to Mr. Cuvillier, a positive impact on the most popular tourist country in the world. The bike tourism-related economy is already estimated to equal €2 billion and employs more than 16,000 people. 12 000 km of cycle paths will soon be built to double these figures. The ECF EuroVelo network contributes to the success of French bike-toursim since seven routes are crossing the country (EuroVelo 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 15).

Governmental support for 2015 Nantes Velo-city

The French government has also announced their support for Velo-city 2015 Nantes, the world’s biggest cycling conference organized annually by ECF. In this context, the government wants to boost the media coverage of the event in order to showcase the bike and the French bicycle economy.

We welcome the progress included in the PAMA and share our French members’ interest (AF3V, DRC and FUB) in furthering the first 25 proposals. So, we look forward the regulatory and legislative work and the actual applications of those positive proposals that will make France an even more cyclist-friendly country!


France experiments with paying people to cycle to work
Geert De Clercq, 2/6/2014,

PARIS (Reuters) - France has started a six-month experiment with paying people to cycle to work, joining other European governments in trying to boost bicycle use to boost people's health, reduce air pollution and cut fossile fuel consumption.

Several countries including the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Britain have bike-to-work schemes, with different kinds of incentives such as tax breaks, payments per kilometre and financial support for buying bicycles.

In France, some 20 companies and institutions employing a total of 10,000 people have signed up to pay their staff 25 euro cents (34 U.S. cents) per kilometre biked to work, the transport ministry said in a statement on Monday.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, noting that commuting using public transport and cars is already subsidised, said that if results of the test are promising, a second experiment on a larger scale will be done.

The ministry hopes that the bike-to-work incentive scheme will boost bike use for commuting by 50 percent from 2.4 percent of all work-home journeys, or about 800 million km, with an average distance of 3.5 km per journey.

In Belgium, where a tax-free bike incentive scheme has been in place for more than five years, about 8 percent of all commutes are on bicycles. In the flat and bicycle-friendly Netherlands, it is about 25 percent, cycling organisations say.

The Brussels-based European Cyclists' Federation has European Union funding to study best practices among various cycling incentive schemes, the group's Bike2Work project manager Randy Rzewnicki said.

City bike-loan schemes have played a large role in boosting bicycle commuting and cities including Barcelona, London and Stockholm have followed the model of the Velib in Paris.

($1 = 0.7328 euros)

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Louise Ireland)


Focus on Frédéric Cuvillier’s “cycling plan”

Focus on Frédéric Cuvillier’s “cycling plan”
On 5th March, the French Minister for Transport, Frédéric Cuvillier, unveiled the twenty-five measures of his “active mobility action plan.”

Six focuses of the a plan

This plan results from the discussions of an interministerial working group dedicated to promoting active means of mobility. Set up in June 2013, the group brought together politicians, local elected officials, users, bike manufacturers and representatives from the Ministries concerned.

Their work was organised into six areas:

● Promoting intermodality between public transport and “active” mobility (a term used to refer to forms of mobility that use muscular strength such as cycling and walking);

● Better sharing of public space and improving user safety;

● Putting in place financial incentives to use bikes;

● Taking bikes into account in urban planning and development;

● Developing leisure and tourism routes;

● Communicating the benefits of walking and cycling.

A key measure: kilometric allowance

The measure generating the most press is incontestably the implementation of a kilometric allowance for employees who cycle to work.

The majority of companies reimburse their employees’ fuel bills and/or cover part of their transport expenses. But until now, nothing was being done for cyclists. The action plan proposes that employers compensate cyclists at a rate of 25 centimes per kilometre in exchange for tax exemptions.

A similar measure has been in place in Belgium since 1997. Set at 21 centimes per kilometre, in 2013, it enabled 190,000 employees to benefit from €46m (£38m) in allowances.

The three benefits of cycling

The Minister for Transport insists on the “triple benefit” that active mobility offers. The emphasis is on health, the environment and also the economy.

As for the associations, a certain level of satisfaction is justified. “We’re happy with the initial progress”, said Genevière Laferrère from the French Bicycle Users Federation.