On September 28, 2020, a kick-off conference was held for the Danube Cycle Plans project, with more than 40 connected participants from ten European countries. The conference was focused on how to raise awareness for cycling as an important mode of everyday travelling and how to incorporate cycling into strategic plans. The event was organised by Environment Agency Austria. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the kick-off conference and partner meeting was held as a virtual event.
“If so far cycling was regarded more as a recreational activity than a transport mode, hopefully its recently discovered merits, i.e. offering people the possibility to keep the social distance, will place it upper in people’s transport choices and also on the decision makers’ agenda,“ said Ana Leganel, representative of the Danube Transnational Programme, in her opening speech. Cycling should be supported at all levels including the macro-regional level, showed the outputs of the conference.
The Danube Cycle Plans project aims at improving the framework conditions for cyclists resulting in more people cycling in the Danube region. The project covers nine European countries and is managed by the Environment Agency Austria.
"The Corona pandemic has seen at least two winners in mobility: individual car travel and active mobility, especially cycling. Cycling is resilient, healthy, sustainable, affordable and allows social distancing. Danube Cycle Plans will use this momentum and will bring cycling a huge step forward on the mobility agenda of the participating countries,” said Henriette Spyra from the Environment Agency Austria.
Project partners are national ministries responsible for cycling or organisations nominated by the relevant national ministry from Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Its main goal is to strengthen the three main pillars of cycling promotion:
(1) The development of cycling policies at national and transnational level, with the main output of a Danube Cycling Strategy and National Cycling Plans;
(2) Support the provision of adequate cycling infrastructure by defining the Danube Cycle Route Network, developing common standards and deriving an investment plan to upgrade current conditions;
(3) Increase the awareness of relevant stakeholders for the needs of cyclists and increase their capacity to promote cycling in the whole Danube region by implementing a mentoring system, inspiration events and national cycling conferences.
The project is embedded in THE PEP (Transport, Health, Environment Pan-European Programme) who´s pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion gives valuable input for the project and vice versa, the project´s outputs will backflow to the pan-European level.
Project Danube Cycle Plans is co-funded by the European Union funds (ERDF,IPA).
Find more about the project and contact here.