More Ghent residents take their bicycle out to get around

The bicycle has gained ground as a popular means of transport in Ghent. However, this does not mean that the car would no longer be king. That's according to large-scale mobility survey in the East-Flemish capital that was presented on Friday.

The survey included 2,200 respondents living in the Ghent area. The people were between 10 and 80 years old and were asked about their habits where means of transport are concerned. They kept records throughout the years which allowed researchers to compare transport habits through time.

Since the year 2000, the number of local residents taking the bike to go out has gone up with 8%. For the car, there is a 5% rise. According to the survey, 650,000 trips are being made each day as people are getting around in the city. The figure is 13% up, mainly due to the growing population. In 48% of the cases, people take the car, followed by the bicycle (22%), going by foot (14%) or public transport (10%).

Almost 50% of the Ghent residents cover distances under 3 km by bicycle. However, the Ghent Alderman for Mobility, Filip Watteew (Flemish greens) estimates that there is still room for improvement. "We see that 60% of the distances that are covered, don't exceed 5 km. This is a distance that can also be covered by bicycle."