Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone
Group photo of French Study Visit 2024

Study Visit: French mobility clusters

26 January 2024

From 15th to 17th January 2024, the Dutch Cycling Embassy hosted 24 participants from a range of different companies and organisations in France, organised with and via four different mobility clusters, NextMove, CARA, ID4Mobility and Cygo. 

On the first afternoon, the group visited adapted cycle manufacturer Van Raam in Varsseveld for presentations on the company’s work and development, CSR and sustainability policies, and a factory tour. Participants then had a lot of fun trialling various models of adapted cycles on a test course. 

The second day started with a presentation on the development of Dutch Cycling by DCE project coordinator Emma Stubbe.  

It was followed by a presentation on Circular Urban Development by Dr. Evert-Jan Velzing, Professor of Urban Innovation at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, which showcased both theory and local case studies on the topic. 

Ruxandra Aelenei, Lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and consultant at R.A. Planning, then followed with a presentation titled “Innovation in mobility policy: Utrecht as pioneering city.”  

The morning wrapped up with a final presentation on the Synergy of public transport and cycling by Roland Kager of Studio Bereikbaar, complemented by practical information on Smart Parking solutions provided by Christelle Boisrame of Abel Sensors. 

Participants then went on a tour of the Netherlands’ largest bike parking garage at Utrecht Centraal, where they were able to hear and see more about high-quality cycle parking infrastructure and how it enables and enhances the bike-train transport combination. 

After a lunch together with Florian Carquillat, Commercial Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Netherlands, the group then embarked on a cycling tour of Utrecht to experience cycling in the Netherlands first-hand. Despite the cold and snow, the group was able to make use of the excellent cycling infrastructure in Utrecht to explore the city together with the experts, stopping at a number of points of interest to hear about the development of infrastructure, challenges, successes, as well as adject topics like the local cycling culture, governance, user groups and more. 

The group then warmed back up over networking drinks with Dutch cycling and mobility-related companies and organisations in a cosy Utrecht bar, kicking off with pitches from the French participants to get the conversations started.  

French delegation exploring Utrecht, 2024

On the final morning, the group split into two. One half went on a site visit to Roetz, whilst the other half participated in a mini-workshop, lead by Brett Petzer and Anna Taillez of Mobycon, on re-designing city centres for different user groups. The latter half presented their outcomes to the rest of the group upon their return, over lunch. The entire group then headed off to Dieren, to visit the Royal Dutch Gazelle factory and experiences centres, and hear presentations on the history of the company, their current strategy, and CSR and sustainability policies.

Photo of French delegation at the Gazelle experience centre
Photo of OV bikes in warehouse

The participants were engaged and enthusiastic throughout the intensive programme. They returned to France with new ideas and motivation, as well as new connections to the Dutch cycling industry, to inspire their work on tomorrow’s mobility at home. 

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