Flemings now joint second in European cycling league

With 16% of all journeys being done by bike Flanders now shares the second place in the European ranking with Denmark.  Only the Netherlands, where 28% of journeys are done by bike, outclasses us.

 A survey conducted by the organisation FietsDNA every two years shows that people are using the bike more.  The share of the bike in all journeys has risen by 1%, while for journeys to and from work the figure is up 3%.

One of the reasons for the rise is the increasing number of businesses that are offering employees lease bikes. In this way more people have a high quality bike that can be used to get to work at their disposal. Cycling expert Wout Baert also points to increased investments in cycle paths and bike super highways.

The survey that involved 2,000 respondents identified several reasons why people use the bike: it’s cheap and fast, environmentally-friendly and good for your health.

The increased use of the bike is making people more critical vis-à-vis cycling infrastructure.  Half of all respondents indicated that cycle paths weren’t sufficiently adapted to electric bikes. With more and more people using the bike cycle paths are getting too narrow.  Different types of bike also mean that there is more overtaking, while cycling is also a social activity and people want to cycle next to each other.

Cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular too with one in ten Flemish families with children now possessing one.  Cargo bikes are increasingly replacing second and sometimes even first cars in the city.

The research also revealed that cyclists see a need for safer and more comfortable bike stands that would encourage people to use the bike at least on part of their journey.

The five share bike companies operating in Flanders offer 8,000 share bikes.  In 2019 these completed 7.3 million journeys.  In 2018 use of this mode of transport was pretty limited while today one in ten Flemings has had the experience.

The survey also revealed that cyclists are today happier about the way drivers observe traffic rules, but motorists still remain the top gripe when it comes to judging other road users.  

 

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