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‘Dutch Politicians Should Pay More Attention to Cycling’

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THE HAGUE, the Netherlands – “Cycling and walking as part of the Dutch transportation system have grown in importance,” says the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM) in a recent study. Nevertheless the research institute is critical of the country’s cycling policy.

‘Dutch Politicians Should Pay More Attention to Cycling’
Especially in the cities, the use of the bicycle is increasing. – Photo Bike Europe

“Cycling promotion means more than constructing cycling infrastructure,” writes the institute. The KiM sees three trends when it comes to cycling and walking. Since 2004 the Dutch take the bike more often and for longer distances (+ 9%) or go walking (+ 13%).

E-Bike importance

The importance of the e-bike is increasing as a mode of mobility. In the Netherlands half of the number of journeys, one tenth of the mileage and a third of the time spent on mobility is done by bicycle or on foot. Especially in the cities, the use of the bicycle is increasing though the differences between specific groups in the population are growing as well. For example non-western immigrants walk more often and less frequently opt for the bike.

Growth of e-bike sales

The research institute notes that people use their bike more often to commute to work or to school and less to go shopping. Nearly half of all journeys between home and the railway stations is done by bike. The growth of e-bike sales is reflected in the use. More than 12 percent of all cycling kilometres is now covered by e-bike. The average distance people ride on an e-bike is half as long as on a regular bike. For commuting trips, the difference is even twice as high.

KiM is critical about the Dutch cycling policy. “Many cities have booked great results in cycling participation but to encourage the use of bicycles requires more than the construction of cycling infrastructure only. Very often policy makers lack the commitment to make proper evaluations of measures taken to promote cycling and walking,” says the research institute.