Don't Let the EU Parliament Ignore 100 Million Cyclists!

There are 35 million daily cyclists in Europe and more than 100 million Europeans that cycle regularly. Yet the 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’s time for this to change.

Important budgets are being decided between now and 2014, and we need to remind the European Parliament, a democratically elected body, that cyclists have a voice and a place in European policy. By putting pressure on them, we try to make sure that cycling is recognised as an important mode of transport.

The First Big Battle: Including Cycling in the Strategic European Transport Networks. We need to remind the Parliament to take cycling seriously. On December 18, the European Transport Committee will vote on funding rules for major infrastructure projects in the strategic European networks (called Ten-T). The exclusion of cycling would mean that cycling provision would be excluded. Last year, the Parliament’s official opinion was to include Eurovelo, the European wide cycle network in this. 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, despite the earlier recommendation.

With your help, we can try to change this. It’s not too late.

Action to Take: Send Jim Higgins MEP, the Irish member of the EU Transport Committe an Email before Tuesday, December 18 - jim.higgins@europarl.europa.eu

A DRAFT letter is shown below for use, but feel free to use your own. If you have time please also email the most influential MEPs on Transport Committee listed below.

Any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact ECF’s Regional Policy Officer, Ed Lancaster. (e.lancaster[at]ecf.com)

Email Subject Line: “European Transport Policy Ignores 100 Million Citizens”

Dear Jim Higgins MEP / INSERT NAME AND TITLE OF OTHER MEP,

There are 35 million citizens cycling every day. There are more than 100 million Europeans that cycle regularly. Yet cycling is in danger of being left out of important European transport funding and policy.

In December 2011, the European Parliament showed that it saw potential for significant growth in cycling and that it was a priority case for European investment by recommending that the European Cycle Route Network, EuroVelo and associated cycling facilities should be included in the Trans-European Transportation Network (Ten-T) strategic transport network.

Just one year later, we feel that the European institutions are ignoring, forgetting and failing the millions of European citizen cycling in Europe. As a democratically elected body, European Parliament must listen to its citizens.

We call on you, as our representative in the Transport Committee to respect 100 million European citizens and the actions of the parliament by restoring cycling to its appropriate place in the Ten-T guidelines.

If you do not, you are disrespecting the needs of 100 million citizens and the huge potential for economic growth, carbon reduction and reduced congestion that investing in cycling can bring.

In the vote on the 18th of December, please vote the amendments with the following content:

  • Integrate EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, into the Trans European Transportation Network (TEN-T)

  • Improve, develop the road infrastructure / conditions of cycle routes that run along the TEN-T Corridors

  • Implement safe (grade separate) intersections when TEN-T infrastructure corridors cross local, regional, national cycle routes.

Yours sincerely,

Insert NAME (/ORGANISATION)

Help us do more for cycling in Dublin, please consider getting involved.