ECF calls for pressure to be put on MEPs to ensure cycling included within major project funding plans

Cyclists throughout Europe are being urged to write to their MEPs ahead of a crucial European Parliament vote next Tuesday 18 December to ensure that provision for cyclists is included within funding rules for major transportation projects worth billions of euro.

The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), which along with the CTC is also calling for pressure to be put on the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, says that there are 35 million daily cyclists in the EU – that’s larger than the population of all but six of the 27 member states.

However, despite 100 million people in the EU cycling regularly, the ECF says that European institutions “are failing to take cycling seriously as a mode of Transport.

“Strategic EU documents keep failing to mention cycling and it is at risk of being sidelined by more powerful lobby interests,” it claims, adding, “It’s time for this to change” as the European Parliament meets to debate key budgets for the period to 2014.

The specific issues, says the ECF, are:

On Tuesday December 18, the European Transport Committee will vote on crucial legislation which has a big impact on cycling. This particular case is the funding rules for major infrastructure projects in the strategic European networks (called Ten-T). Although this appears to be major road, rail and transport corridors, the exclusion of cycling would mean that cycling provision such as road crossings, major junctions and ECF’s strategic EuroVelo network would be excluded.

It’s time for us to remind the European Parliament, a democratically elected body, that cyclists’ have a voice and a place in European policy.

Last year, the Parliament’s official opinion was to include EuroVelo in this network. Being included in this network would open up the path for billions of euros of investments in cycling infrastructure across Europe.

Since then the European Commission and the Transport Committee in the European Parliament have been preparing these guidelines, but have excluded cycling and EuroVelo, despite this earlier recommendation.

Once again, they have excluded cycling from transport policy and billions in potential funding.

Does  writing to MEPs make a difference? Well, in Italy, says the ECF, two MEPs have already pledged to include cycling within Tuesday’s vote after lobbying from campaigners.

National cyclists’ organisation CTC is asking cyclists in the UK to write to Brian Simpson MEP, who represents North West England and chairs the European Parliament’s Transport Committee to urge that cycling be included in the plans.

CTC has drawn up a template letter, so all you have to do is complete the details in the form at the bottom of a blog post on its website and click ‘send.’

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.