Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Virtual follow-up with East Midlands

3 February 2023

On Thursday, February 2nd of 2023, experts from the Dutch Cycling Embassy network, in collaboration with Sustrans, participated in an online knowledge transfer session as a follow-up from last year’s study visit.

The two-hour webinar was attended by delegates all over the east midlands, from planners to councillors, as well as two Dutch experts, Lotte Rijsman (RHDHV) and Wim Bot (Fietsersbond). The Webinar consisted of a brief kick-off where after five themes, based on received questions from the delegates, where discussed by Lotte and Wim, including a Q&A corresponding to all pre-defined themes. It was a pleasure recognizing familiar faces and re-start in-depth conversations.

The first theme discussed was the necessary ingredients for successful policy. The delegates shared their current situations and the difficulties they encounter while pushing for change. Wim shared that being part of a bigger social movement always helps to continue, at the same time keeping your own limits in mind is essential.

The second theme focussed on sharing information concerning the funding of cycling policies in the Netherlands. Wim started the conversation with providing insights in the numbers, i.e., the amount of money being invested in cycling per year per inhabitant respectively: €33,- for cycling, €133,- for public transport and €342,- on car infrastructure. And also, pitching the recent success -of among others the Cyclist Union- that the Dutch national government announce in the autumn of 2022 to invest 780 million euros for cycling for new housing areas, the biggest financial announcement national wide for decades! Lotte followed-up with giving insights about the Dutch which can also be very creative with funding cycling policies, she shared a couple of cases to illustrate this creative approach. Participants shared their worries concerning limited budgets for maintenance whereafter the experts shared those new developments can offer opportunities to incorporate active travel as well as the need to have appropriate funding -arranged from the start

The third theme focussed on behaviour change and how to deal with this, the main response from the experts was focussed on: It takes time and illustrated by the example of the City of Delft evolving in a low car city. Lotte shared the concept of motornomativity and shared that the Netherlands is both a cycle minded but also a car minded country. In reaction to this, the group shared their experience while being in the Netherlands: A couple delegates cycled between Rotterdam and Delft while others covered the stretch of 16km by train, both offering a feasible alternative to the car; however, in hindsight, might have preferred travelling by cycle since the train was packed during rush hour.

The fourth theme focussed on network planning, where Lotte shared insights concerning network planning for the urban and rural environment. She shared a case from Nijmegen, the St. Annastraat, and the CROW guideline principles for network design.

The final theme: Don’t get stuck in car-cycle fights, was -due to a shortage of time- not explicitly be discussed, however, there is always food for thought left to continue the conversation and opportunities to re-connect!

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Involved partners

Royal HaskoningDHV, Fietsersbond

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