The draft resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy, adopted by the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) on Tuesday, 31 January, advocates for cycling to be recognised as a fully-fledged mode of transport.
The resolution, voted almost unanimously by 38 votes to 1, highlights the benefits cycling could bring to EU’s green transition: better health, reduced road congestion and noise pollution, improved air quality and economic growth. Therefore, transport MEPs ask the Commission to develop a European cycling strategy with an aim of doubling the number of kilometres cycled in Europe by 2030.
With this vote today in the Transport and Tourism Committee, the European Parliament is one-step away from adopting its very first position on cycling and finally asserting that cycling is a transport mode that should be put on equal footing with the other modes.Karima Delli, EP rapporteur and TRAN chair
Lack of secured parking and dedicated cycling lanes, but also insufficient measures to prevent theft are some of the obstacles preventing cycling to grow in cities, the MEPs pointed out. They want regional and local authorities to integrate cycling, affordable e-bikes and bike sharing schemes into urban mobility plans. More synergies with other transport modes, such as more places for bikes in trains or more secured parking areas for bikes at stations, could also help cycling industry.
MEPs on the Transport and Tourism Committee encourage EU governments and local authorities to significantly increase investments in the construction of separated cycling infrastructure. VAT rates for the supply, rental and repair of bikes and e-bikes should also be reduced, they add. Moreover, transport MEPs also call on the Commission to designate 2024 as the European Year of Cycling.
We all agree about the many benefits of cycling (…) but so far, we were lacking from the EU institutions a strong signal that recognizes the central role of cycling in our societies.Karima Delli, EP rapporteur and TRAN chair
“I am very proud of the TRAN committee for having taken a stance on such an important issue. We all agree about the many benefits of cycling: better health, less congestion, more liveable cities, but so far, we were lacking from the EU institutions a strong signal that recognizes the central role of cycling in our societies. Calling for a dedicated European strategy and for the cycling industry to be recognized as a key partner in the European industrial strategy are important steps toward this change of mind-set within our institutions that will have tremendous impacts on the ground,” EP rapporteur Karima Delli said.
The draft resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy now needs to be voted by the full house of the Parliament, possibly during its meeting in Strasbourg in February.