UCI to Support Bike Friendly Cities and Regions
AIGLE, Switzerland – To support and reward those cities and regions who invest in developing community cycling and related infrastructure the Union Cycliste Internationale relaunched the UCI Bike City label. “Bike transport is increasingly becoming mainstream across the world and it is important that the UCI helps to drive forward and quicken this trend,” said Brian Cookson, President of the UCI at the introduction of the label.
The first UCI Bike City label, to be awarded at next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Doha, will be for a period of four years and will be based on a city’s strategy combining elite cycling with UCI events and investing in cycling for all. In 2007 the city of Copenhagen was the first to win a UCI Bike City label.
A dedicated UCI team has been established to support cities and regions to help them develop and benchmark their plans and share best practice. Cities and regions will be assessed according to a broad range of criteria which demonstrate how elite cycling events can work best hand in hand to achieve long lasting goals in bringing cycling to all.
These criteria are:
- Ambition of strategy;
- Dedicated funding;
- Protected bike lanes;
- Safety for cyclists;
- Cycle training;
- Measuring progress.
“Governments and regions across the globe are now grasping the huge public health benefits from integrating cycling into their transport plans and part of the job of the UCI is to provide strategic guidance in this process,” stated Brian Cookson. “The UCI Bike City label will highlight those cities and towns who are making the most of the opportunity that hosting major UCI events brings and leading the way in developing community cycling. We want to work with our major event host partners to ensure that, together, we create a long term legacy of improved community cycling opportunities and infrastructure. This ambition is what lies at the heart of the UCI Bike City label.”
Bike sharing rapidly expanding
UCI Vice-president and Chair of the UCI Advocacy Commission Tracey Gaudry added: “Cycling is not just a competitive sport, it is also an enjoyable, healthy pastime and environmentally friendly way to get about. More than 700 cities in 50 countries now have bike-share schemes, a figure that has grown by about half in the last three years. The UCI Bike City label should be seen against this exciting context.”
More on the quickly growing global bike sharing market will be published next week on www.bike-eu.com