Erica Schouten, the ambassador of the Netherlands and Tom Helge Nørring, the ambassador for Denmark are to assume co-patron roles within Canderra cycling advocacy organisation Pedal Power ACT.
Representing two of Europe’s highest modal share for cycling destinations, the pair have been brought on board to bring about a behaviour change, with both charged with bringing about a cycling for transport as well as leisure mentality.
Announced ahead of the Canberra Walk and Ride Week this month, the pair will bring to the table their expertise in the introduction of safe cycling infrastructure and the associated benefits.
“Cycling in the Netherlands is a way of life,” said Ambassador Schouten. “We cycle to work, to school, to the shops, to the cinema. And we have a smart infrastructure to support this. Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven are among the 5 most bike-friendly cities in Europe, the World Economic Forum revealed last year.
“Cycling is good for your health and for the environment. I am therefore very happy to support Pedal Power and to share the Dutch cycling experience with Australia.”
Ambassador Nørring echoed the statement outlining how starting kids on bikes is key to continuing the behaviour into adult life.
He said: “I, like my fellow countrymen, grew up riding my bike to school and as I got older, I rode my bike to my workplace – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs In Copenhagen – every day.”
“I wasn’t alone, 50% of Copenhageners make the morning commute on a bike, including over 60% of our politicians. 25% of families with two kids have a cargo bike to pedal their children to school.”
“In November we reached a fantastic milestone with there being more bikes than cars in the City Centre of Copenhagen.”
“I am really honoured to be taking up the position of Co-Patron for Pedal Power. I am hopeful that I can inspire all Canberrans to hop on their bikes – even perhaps some of the politicians here!”