There are more and more bicycles in the Netherlands. Since 2005, the number of bicycles has increased by almost 11 percent. The rapid rise of the electric bike and the growing popularity of cycling in the city, has made a significant contribution. The Netherlands has more bicycles than inhabitants because many Dutch people own more than one bicycle. Annually, every Dutchman cycles an average of 1,000 kilometres. More than a quarter of all our trips are done by bicycle, which is more than in any other country in the world.
We owe much of our livelihood to the bicycle. For example, the bicycle keeps our inner cities accessible and liveable, brings many people to work, provides fun and relaxation, and is important in the countryside, and to commute to school, work, the grocery store, or the bus stop. The bike delivers more than we often realise. It is an important contribution to our health because cycling keeps us moving, in a highly effective and environmentally friendly way. The effects of the bicycle also contribute to many social benefits as well.
The Netherlands has been internationally known for years as the country where most people cycle, and there is a growing demand for Dutch cycling knowledge. If we continue to achieve the growth of cycling in the Netherlands, we can be an international role model for resolving global challenges such as a climate-neutral economy, liveable cities, and a healthy lifestyle.
We must cherish the bicycle. The modal share of cycling is already high with more than a quarter of all trips. And today, bicycle use still increases, especially in urban areas. However, there is still plenty of room for further growth. Considering more than half of the car journeys are shorter than 7.5 km, which is within a bicycle distance, and with the advent of electric bicycles, the bicycle range increases up to 15 kilometres. An even further step would be to increase the number of people on bicycles to cycle to the train, light rail or bus, especially since public transport is increasingly diminishing in rural areas.
A comprehensive coalition of governments, companies, civil society organisations, research institutes, and associations responsible and involved in the bicycle policy of the Netherlands are united in the Tour de Force. They aim, in the coming years, to increase bicycle use, which is possible by giving more priority to cycling policy, obtain opportunities, and remove obstacles. As a part of the joint agreed Bicycle Agenda 2017 – 2020, there are eight goals to contribute to the increase in the number of kilometres cycled in the Netherlands.
1. Netherlands as the leading bicycle country (Nederland Fietsland)
2. More room for the bicycle in cities
3. Boosting the quality on busy and important regional cycling routes
4. Optimise the transition between modes, PT-bike and car-bike
5. Targeted cycling promotion
6. Less cycling accidents
7. Less stolen bicycles
8. Increase knowledge
Main objective: These goals should contribute to the ambitious objective: an increase in the number of kilometres cycled in the period 2017-2027 by 20 percent.