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Climate change will barely influence bike usage

08-02-2013

The influence of the weather can be seen in Dutch nationwide cycling over the seasons. This doesn’t mean, however, that climate change will greatly affect cycle usage in the Netherlands

The study “Fietsen door weer en wind” conducted by the VU University in Amsterdam,looked into the effects of a climate change, given the fact that bicycle usage closely correlates with the weather. On warm days, the Dutch make 30% more cycling trips than on cold days. But the study shows that the influence of climate change on traveling behaviour, including cycle usage, will probably turn out to be relatively limited. Even the more extreme scenarios in which average temperatures gradually increase by roughly 2.5°C in 60 years, together with a dip or rise in precipitation of up to 20%, won’t lead to significantly altered mobility patterns. The influence of other factors (such as technology, demography, economy, life-styles, and the emergence of the pedelec and the e-bike) is likely to be much greater than that of climate change. All the same, the researchers think it may be a good idea to include the climate topic in mobility policy because proactive planning can often enhance the robustness of the transport system at a more reasonable cost than subsequent adjustments.

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