The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) has revealed there is strong cross-party support for cycling as the future of transport among the next generation of elected EU Parliament officials.
The ECF conducted a survey of candidates to become MEPs from 25 out of 28 member states, asking them for their views on five of the most pressing issues for Europe’s cyclists. Candidates were also asked to sign the Cycling for All pledge, committing themselves to supporting the cause of cycling during the next EU Parliament.
In total, 469 candidates completed the survey, 30% more than in the organisation’s 2014 campaign. Out of these, 404 candidates signed the pledge.
The pledge commits MEPs to: “Support the cause of cycling during the 2019-2024 European Parliamentary term, with the objective of increasing the number of people cycling, promoting cycle-tourism and improving road conditions for people cycling, in terms of safety, infrastructure accessibility and user experience.”
In response to the ECF’s survey questions, 79% of candidates supported either a 100% or 50% EU target of growing cycle use by 2030, while 81% supported mandating a universal deployment of intervening ISA systems in new motor vehicles.
Meanwhile, 39% of candidates supported the EU investing 10% of its transport budget on cycling projects and 92% supported at least a 3% commitment (currently 1.5% of EU transport budget investment is in cycling projects).
59% of candidates supported obligatory quality guidelines for all new cycling infrastructure union wide, whilst a total 81% supported guidelines should these be restricted to just EU funded transport projects.
Finally, 79% of candidates were against requiring electrically-assisted bicycle users to have motor vehicle insurance.
The top three countries to sign the Cycling for All pledge, in terms of pledges per European Parliament seat, were Croatia, Denmark and Estonia, who were followed by Portugal, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Malta and Lithuania.
Adam Bodor, Director of Advocacy at ECF, said: “These results represent a strong wish from future MEPs to have cycling at the top of the agenda as we enter the next parliamentary term, reflective of a broader call from European citizens for the future of transportation to be sustainable, active, and on two wheels! We look forward to working with incoming MEPs from all political groups, as from these results it is clear partnerships are possible to get more people cycling more often.”
According to figures calculated by ECF, cycling creates benefits of up to €150 billion every year in the EU, including the UK, with more than €90 billion in positive externalities for the environment, public health and mobility system.
The European populace will vote for their representatives in the new European Parliament on Thursday, 23rd May 2019.
For complete results of the ECF European Parliament campaign and methodology of the ECF Cycling Thermometer, download this file.