The French Government has announced a massive €350 million fund for a roll-out of new bike infrastructure over the next seven years.
That is about $AU569m more than the Australian federal government is planning to spend.
The funds will be available to various levels of government, that will match grants with their own funds.
The commitment is part of the new cycling master-plan for the nation called Parlons Velo, or We Talk Bikes.
Other initiatives include:
- The establishment of a bike riding culture, in part from making bike riding a compulsory skill for every primary school student.
- The implementation of a global plan to fight against theft, including mandatory ID marking of bicycles
- The introduction of tax incentive measures, notably the creation of a mobility package of up to 400 euros per year, accessible to all employees, including civil servants.
Prime Minister Edouarde Philippe committed the government to triple cycling in France by the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“This plan is massive, coherent and precise,” he said.
“Through it, the state is committed in an unprecedented way to meet all the challenges that today hinder the use of this transport solution.
"Its launch opens a new dynamic. Its success will be based on the mobilization of all actors in the field: communities, companies, associations.”
The plan cites five advantages of cycling for the community:
- Transition to clean energy
- Increased attractiveness of cities
- Access top mobility for all at the lowest cost
- Job creation
Barriers identified include:
- Inadequate and discontinuous bike infrastructure
- Non-supportive legislative and regulatory framework
- Cultural obstacles, such a people who have not learned to ride
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