15,000 police officers cycling to work
Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure announces goal to get 15,000 police officers cycling to work within three years.
The following press release was originally published in Dutch by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on March 11th, 2019.
A minimum of 15,000 police officers cycling to work within three years. That is the goal announced today by police and state secretary Van Veldhoven (Infrastructure and Water Management). The aim is that within three years, at least 25% of the Netherlands' 60,000 police officers will cycle to work.
Healthier employees, cleaner air and fewer traffic jams. That is what it is about. This makes the police the 12th bicycle ambassador for Van Veldhoven, who actively works to get more people travelling to work by bike. Van Veldhoven wants another 200,000 commuters cycling to work during this cabinet period.
State Secretary Van Veldhoven thinks it is a wonderful step with great potential. "It's great that the national police, the largest employer in the Netherlands, is participating! The bicycle is our secret weapon: against congestion, for better health and for clean air. I know better than anyone how wonderful it is to cycle to work. I then start my day more energized. And that is also a good thing for employers. Good parking facilities, attractive arrangements to purchase a bicycle; good bicycle facilities pay for themselves.”
Jolanda Aalbers, head of operations at the East Netherlands Unit: "Sustainability is very important to the police. Not only for the environment, but also for employees. Last week it was reported that the national police and the fire service have the highest absenteeism in the Netherlands. We really want to do something about that, and the bicycle will help us.”
The police have embraced this ambassadorship and chose to use the East Netherlands Unit as an advanced post. With more than 7,000 employees, this is the largest unit within the police. In the east of the Netherlands, about 21% of the employees already bike to work. The aim is to increase this number to 25% in three years.
The police see the bicycle as one of the most important tools in the new national transport policy. The East Netherlands wants every police team to receive charging points for e-bikes in the coming years, and adjustments to stations will create more room for bicycle facilities such as parking. An explicit connection is sought with the ‘Sustainability, Employability & Sick Leave’ and ‘Fit@NP’ projects. By facilitating and stimulating these goals, the benefits of using a bicycle for commuting are welcoming for both the employer and the employee.
The 12 cycling ambassadors represent various sectors. In addition to the police, they include UMCG, ASR, Amega Group, Efteling, Enexis, Fujifilm, MN, Radboud University, Schiphol Group, TataSteel and Zalsman. They actively encourage cycling among their employees. And with that they not only inspire their employees, but also their sector, region and customers. Examples of targeted measures taken by the ambassadors include kilometer reimbursement, the use of tax advantages for the purchase of a bicycle, charging options for e-bikes, borrowed bicycles, bicycle sheds, showers and repair shops at the office.
The bicycle is unmistakably Dutch. More than a quarter of all trips made in the Netherlands is by bike. The government has the ambition to encourage even more travelers to opt for the bicycle. Van Veldhoven is investing €345-million in new bicycle routes and parking facilities with provinces, city regions and municipalities. Also, leasing a bicycle from January 1, 2020 is just as easy as leasing a car, but against the low addition of 7%.
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