A new French cycling mobility plan is in the works and should see the light of day by the end of the year. It focuses on improving conditions for cyclists and promoting cycling through financial incentives. This new programme follows a trend of innovative mobility plans across Europe.
The French government has recently decided to further its cycling and mobility programs in the hope of promoting cycling. This project was started by the last administration but following the change in government, it was temporarily put on hold. But now, the French ministry for ecology, development and energy has decided to green light the project. A committee headed by Dominique Lebrun, so called “Mr. Velo” , a representative of the French ECOLOGY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY MINISTRY. (MINISTERE DE L’ ÉCOLOGIE, DU DÉVELOPPEMENT DURABLE ET DE l’ÉNERGIE) has been set up to decide the measures needed to enact this new project. This committee is composed of industry representatives, cyclists and government officials.
The project’s key themes are to promote active mobility while creating incentives for cycling to work. In order to encourage cycling, programs could be created where employers would provide a financial incentive to their employees for cycling to work. This system exists in Belgium where employees receive a 21 cents/km compensation. An alternative approach exists in Germany with prizes awarded in a lottery to the employees that satisfy a certain quota of miles biked to work per year. These types of project bring economic and environmental benefits as they promote a healthier and cheaper way of transport.
This plan follows a recently passed transport law in France which aims to create specialized secure areas in train stations for cyclists to safely store their bikes. Indeed, transport and environmental concerns have been growing in France. The committee should publish its final report by the end of the year. The next step will be to enact the proposed laws so that they can be put into practice.
The French Bicycle users’ Federation (FUB) –an ECF member- is part of this committee and stated their intention to focus on new safety measures by creating a new “code de la rue” and promoting “financial bonus for commuters”. Once finalized, the mobility plan should include some key cycling advocacy themes notably cyclists’ security and individual compensation. This mobility plan promises to be a step in the right direction and a sign of further progress as to the state of cycling in France. France will be following other European countries like Germany and more recently Slovakia which have created effective mobility plans. ECF supports the creation of a national mobility plan and hopes to see its future- See more at: http://www.ecf.com/news/new-french-mobility-plan-could-change-the-way-cycling-is-perceived-in-france/#sthash.BOysPb8B.dpuf
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