Brussels—September 16, 2010
Bruno De Lille, Brussels Region State Secretary for Mobility, Public Service and Equal Opportunities, used the first day of the annual European Mobility Week to present the pro-cycling aspirations of the European Capital. The event kicked off at 9:00 AM on the Esplanade of the European Parliament.
Mr. De Lille presented his audience with the initiatives of the IRIS 2 Brussels Mobility Plan, which aims to “cut back the car pressure in the region by 20% and sets out a strategy in which walking, cycling and public transport will be the top priority in our policies.” He highlighted the potential of cycling with 14% of Brussels residents using the bicycle at least once a week and a share of 4% of cycling in the overall Brussels traffic. “If we want to fully exploit [this potential], we need to invest more in road security, bicycle infrastructure and promote cycling as a non-polluting, fast and healthy way of transportation,” said Mr. De Lille, who added that the region needs to focus particularly on bike storage and the expansion of the bike-friendly infrastructure.
The ECF Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink thanked Mr. De Lille for the integral approach toward cycling policy adopted by the Brussels Region, the proud host of the 2009 edition of the Velo-city Conference Series. Dr. Ensink invited the audience on the Esplanade to join the ECF in Seville, Spain, for Velo-city 2011 between 23 and 25 March.
The European Mobility Week event was co-hosted by the Green-EFA political group in the European Parliament and the European Twowheel Retailers’ Association (ETRA). The event featured appearances from MEPs Jo Leinen, Silvia Ticau, Michael Cramer, as well as Guido Gielen and Cristina Marolda from the European Commission and Anne-France Rihoux on behalf of the Belgian rotating Presidency of the European Union. Information booths rounded off the event. The ECF presented its activities to the Esplanade visitors. The ECF and ETRA, who are consortium partners for the EU-funded PRESTO Project, co-hosted a separate booth for the project. Several leading mobility companies presented their products, with the focus being on electrically-assisted bicycles that the visitors could test on the site.
The European Mobility Week will last until September 22, with a car-free Sunday event on the 19th. On this day the ECF will be represented in the MOVE IT! event organized by the European Economic and Social Committee in the Flagey Square in Brussels.