Europe gets around on a Bicycle lifestyle
The change in the mobility system and the sustainable initiatives developed by the EU have led to the bicycle boom, one of the most used means of transport in Europe. Among the European cities that use this type of vehicle the most, it is worth mentioning Holland (71% of the population), Finland (57%) and Denmark (56% of the population).
The bicycle has become one of the most used vehicles in Europe. The new mobility policies implemented by the EU are committed to enhancing other means of transport based on sustainability, the reduction of C02 emissions, and the protection of natural and urban habitats. These are some of the key objectives on the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, which is also one of the ten priorities for the European Commission. “The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is crucial for our world to ensure that present and future generations live in peace and safety, while respecting the limits of our planet; championing democracy, human rights, protecting the climate and the environment alike”, said the European Union Council in a statement.
The fact of putting a limit on car use in cities, as well as reducing environmental impacts have become a priority for Europe. Therefore, in large cities, cycling is becoming more and more frequent. Places like Antwerp, Helsinki, Stockholm, Strasbourg and Amsterdam have been enshrined as some of the most “bike-friendly” in Europe.
In Spain, its use is also on the up. According to the latest data recorded by the Bicycle Barometer in Spain, published by the Network of Cities for the Bicycle, 48% of the Spanish population use bikes and 31% of them do so frequently. Among the leading autonomous communities in this type of transport, we have: Catalonia (with 3.189.600 bike tours), Andalusia (2.339.440) and the Valencian Community (with 2.069.700).
“48% of the Spanish population use bikes”
Copenhagen and Amsterdam lead the rankings in ‘bike-friendly’ cities
The Danish Copenhagenize consulting company recently published a ranking with the best European cities for bicycle use, and Copenhagen is ranked first.
Having been chosen as one of the “favourite cities for cyclists in 2015”, the Danish capital has a total of 400km to go around by bicycle. As well as that, more than 62% of its citizens use bikes daily (only 9% use the car). Havneringen, its large cycling ring, is made up of more than 290km of bike lanes, an air bike path and it has a total of 125 points where public rental bicycles can be parked.
Amsterdam is in second position, with almost 800.000 bicycles and a total of 263.000 cars (according to the latest published data). It is estimated that 63% of its inhabitants uses this means of transport, and as well as that, the journeys by bike account for as much as 32% of the total, especially in the city centre, where traffic reaches up to 48%.
“Amsterdam has 15.000 kms of bike lane, and among its objectives for 2030 is a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles, and also the construction of emission-free areas”
With more than 15.000 kilometres of bike lanes, this city has set the following objectives for 2030: a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles, the expansion of environmental areas and the introduction of emission-free areas. These regulations are included in the ‘Clean Air Action Plan’ to have nitrogen dioxide emissions reduced.
Utrecht is in third position because of having more than 35.000km of bike lanes. 125.000 cyclists go along its streets every day, and bicycles are the most common means of transport in the city. Therefore, Stationsplein Utrecht, in other words, the largest bicycle parking area in the world containing 125.000 bicycles, has been recently opened.
Antwerp and Strasbourg are ranked fourth and fifth respectively, therefore consolidating their positions as two of the greenest cities in Europe.