The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) has launched an online dashboard that tracks progress being made in countries and cities across Europe in implementing safe space for cycling during the coronavirus pandemic – with Paris, Barcelona and Brussels highlight among the leaders.
As countries have begun easing out of lockdown, national and local governments in the UK and across the continents have been investing in active travel both to aid social distancing and to encourage people to get around other than by public transport or in cars.
“I find it inspiring to see that cities, regions and Member States are taking this as a wake-up call,” said Morten Kabell, co-CEO of ECF, whose members comprise cycle campaign groups from across the continent.
“People do not want to go back to unbreathable air and dangerous streets. We are glad to confirm that the data shows many mayors are taking the right steps to promote cycling and walking. It is the only way we can consider anything positive came out of this crisis.”
The dashboard summarises the total kilometres of measures announced and those implemented, plus the total budget allocated for cycling promotion.
Other pages include maps identifying cities where measure to promote cycling have been put in place, and leaderboards showing which countries and cities are making the greatest progress.
ECF says that in compiling the data, it has “analysed and cross-checked many sources including official and unofficial documents, plans, announcements, news items, and reports from our members on the ground from nearly 300 cities.
“Our dashboard tracks the different types of infrastructure, fiscal and other measures, their scale, as well as announcement and implementation dates.”
Examples of the type of data highlighted in the dashboard include:
A total of 1,221 km of new cycling and walking infrastructure have been announced
545 km are already rideable
€ 823,167,400 were allocated for cycling promotion
Rome has announced 150 km of cycle lanes
The extra budget allocated for cycling measures in Finland amounts to 7.8 euro/inhabitant.
Jill Warren, ECF’s other CEO, said: “Since the beginning of the recovery phase, European cities and national governments have allocated at least €823 million to active mobility; over 1,200 km of cycling infrastructure has been announced and more than 500 km have already been implemented.
“The COVID crisis, while tragic, is also a huge opportunity to accelerate positive change and reshape our cities – and we are embracing it.”
The dashboard is supported by SRAM Cycling Fund, whose director, Randy Neufeld, said: “ECF's Tracker shows that cycling access can improve rapidly at low cost. Now cities and advocates can make the case for taking action in months not years.
“The dashboard itself came together in just a few weeks, realised because of ECF's skilled professional team coupled with the reach of a network of member groups.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.