The Netherlands is a country of bikes. We have a population of around 17 million people, and almost 23 million bicycles! For short distances – especially in cities – bicycles are a popular alternative to public transport and cars. In fact, one quarter of all journeys in the Netherlands are made by bike. So, cycling rules!
Benefits of Cycling
Cycling has many benefits and helps us achieve accessibility, liveability, sustainability and health goals. The urban population will continue to grow in the coming years. Tackling climate change is a key concern, and the role cycling plays in this is increasingly important. The good news is that there are still gains to be made. For example, central government, working with employers, aims to get 200,000 commuters out of their cars and onto their bikes in the next few years by encouraging the use of bicycles and e-bikes through tax incentives.
Tour de Force
Local, regional and central government are all keen to boost cycling. That’s why Cycling without frontiers - 4 - we’ve earmarked a quarter of a billion euros to encourage cycling and make it a serious transport option. And our Tour de Force Joint Bicycle Agenda 2017-2020 is bringing government, the private sector, NGOs and knowledge platforms together to make our country even more bicyclefriendly. The agenda centres on flexibility and an integrated approach, with special focus on improving bicycle highways and and, for example, providing bicycle lockers and racks at train stations to facilitate the fi rst and last parts of longer journeys (the ‘last mile’).
Of course, the Dutch approach to cycling can be applied in other countries too, so cities and regions around the world can benefit from Dutch expertise. Our Dutch Cycling Embassy experts are keen to share their knowledge worldwide. So let’s face the challenges ahead together, and allow everyone to enjoy the benefi ts of cycling!