Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

British Delegation from East Midlands

23 September 2022

On September 20th, 2022, a group of directors, deputy leaders, city councillors and representatives of Sustrans from the Midlands and East region of the United Kingdom arrived in Rotterdam for the kick-off of their study visit.

The study visit started off with defining the learning objectives of the delegation members, guided by Emma Stubbe and Shelley Bontje from the Dutch Cycling Embassy. This immediately sparked fruitful conversations within the group, topics mention where among others: ‘’How do we fit all different modes and logistics in when there is limited amount of space?’’, ‘’How do we ensure cycling is available and accessible for everyone (no matter the age or ability)?’’ and ‘’Do you still have to ‘sell’/advocate for cycling in the Netherlands?’’.

Thereafter, George Liu (Bicycle User Experience) guided the delegation on a virtual and real-life interactive walking tour. Throughout the tour the delegation members experienced different pedestrian areas in the core of Rotterdam city centre. They were also challenged by measuring the width of the bicycle infrastructure.

The next morning the group was welcomed by Hanneke Schippers, director of public space and economy by the City of Delft. Immediately triggering questions from the delegation which Hanneke eagerly answered. Lotte Rijsman (Royal HaskoningDHV) continue the story of Delft by presenting on ‘flow vs. stay’ areas and asking the group when and wherefore streets are defined as such. True Delftenaar Wim Bot (Fietsersbond) shared his experiences and years of knowledge with the group by presenting on cycling and resistance, a mixture of his position at the cyclist union added with his experience of being a former city councillor at the Municipality of Delft.

For lunch Martina Huijsmans, Delft Deputy Mayor for Finance, Urban Planning and Mobility joined the delegation. Martina received loads of questions and thoughtfully provided the delegation with her insights. Martina stayed around for the bike ride guided by Lotte Rijsman covering a variety of Delft neighbourhood and experiencing all which was talked about during the morning first hand. At this point, the sun started to shine and the whole delegation were delighted!

After a brief wrap-up, discussing to what extent the learning goals where reached, the group had to continue their path travelling back by train to the United Kingdom. One of the delegation members pointed out the following: ‘’Due to the study visit I realized the Netherlands has more in common with our local surroundings than I was aware of.’’ Such take aways are promising starting points for making change in favour of cycling!

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Involved partners

Royal HaskoningDHV, Fietsersbond

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