Brussels still far from being a cycle-friendly city

According to an international study carried out by the cycle insurance firm Coya, Brussels still has a long way to go before it can be considered to be cycle-friendly. Of the 90 cities surveyed Brussels came in 55th. This compared disfavourably with Antwerp that was 3rd.  Coya’s Global Bicycle Cities Index was compiled based on 16 criteria.

These included the percentage of cyclists in the city, the number of accidents involving cyclists, cycle infrastructure, and the number of bike shops and the presence of bike-share systems.     

Brussels came 55th with a score of 30.98. This is a country mile behind the top three that is made up of Utrecht in The Netherlands, Munster in Germany and our very own Antwerp.  

Just 3% of people in Brussels were found to cycle, compared with 51% in Utrecht and 29% in Antwerp. The study also found cycle infrastructure to be lacking in Brussels. 

Cyclists don’t feel safe

Wies Callens of the cycling association Fietsersbond told the daily ‘La DH’ that “There is still a big lack of cycle paths in Brussels. On top of this there is a feeling of insecurity that means many people don’t dare to cycle. This is in contrast to Antwerp where cycling is promoted and there is all kinds of provision for cyclists”.   

The Brussels Transport Minister Pascal Smet (Flemish socialist) told the paper that within a year 80km of new cycle paths with have opened in the capital.   

“The more space you give to cyclists, the more people will use their bikes”.