New research coming from the Netherlands has shown mileage by bike to be outstripping mileage by car in some 71 out of 76 surveyed municipalities on journeys of up to 7.5km.
Research consultancy Goudappel Coffeng and IT mobility experts DAT.Mobility have been carefully monitoring the country’s mobility habits on the back of the discovery that cycling trumps car use in Copenhagen.
Surveying districts with over 50,000 inhabitants, the new data shows that a policy introduced in the 70s to intensively promote cycling is paying dividends on the ground, largely in part to sensible legislation and advanced infrastructure design.
Richard ter Avest, mobility and space consultant at Goudappel Coffeng said of the assumption that the Dutch only cycle in Amsterdam and Utrecht: “Of the 76 largest municipalities in the Netherlands (municipalities with more than 50 thousand inhabitants), in 71 municipalities more people travel by bicycle than driving by car for distances shorter than 7½ km. Only in the province of Limburg is the bicycle share a little lower, due to the height differences. At the same time, the attractive hilly landscape is good for many sports and recreation enthusiasts. ”
The trend also applies to smaller towns with between 25,000 to 50,000 citizens, though the trajectory is less steep than in denser cities.
Over longer distances (7.5 to 15 kilometres) the Dutch the study suggests around a third of trips are completed by bicycle or e-bike. The increased prominence of bike share schemes is expected to further tip the balance in favour of pedal power.
“In a few years, we expect the first cities to emerge where long distance cycling is more than driving a car,” added ter Avest.
Read the research in full here.