The Hague pumps €65 million into cycling network

15th December 2020 Christopher Carey

The Hague will invest €65 million (US$79 million) into its cycling infrastructure over the next five years as part of a plan to increase cycling numbers 50 percent by 2040.

Through its Plenty of Space for Cycling Programme 2020-2025, the Dutch city will improve safe cycling infrastructure and facilities while encouraging more groups to use bicycles for daily commutes and tourism.

Robert van Asten, Deputy Mayor for Mobility, said: “Cycling is only becoming more popular thanks to electric bikes, cargo bikes and bike-sharing.

“[It] is healthy and cyclists do not cause any dangerous gas emissions or take up much space. By providing good cycle routes and by making cycling more accessible, we can ensure that even more residents choose to get around by bike.”

While cycling is already one of the most popular modes of transport in The Hague, the city wants cycling to become its primary mode, and measures under the plan include: improving the flow of traffic at intersections; replacing 13 kilometres of brick cycle paths with paved paths; and creating 40 new parking facilities in neighbourhoods and shopping streets and near tram and bus stops.

The city will also provide bicycle lessons and service points, and ensure every child has access to a bike through the ANWB Children’s Bicycle Plan.

The Hague has some of the highest levels of congestion in the Netherlands, according to TomTom’s 2019 Traffic Index.

Car-sharing

In addition to promoting active travel, other Dutch cities such as Amsterdam have focused on increasing car-sharing options in a bid to reduce the overall numbers of private cars on the roads.

The city has more shared cars than anywhere else in the country, and recently won the 2020 Autodeel Award – hosted by environmental group Natuur & Milieu and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management – for its efforts.

In 2020, Amsterdam installed 600 public charging points for shared electric cars, and announced 700 new car-sharing parking permits that allow drivers to park and leave their shared cars for pick-up in certain designated areas.

It also incorporates shared vehicles in its municipal fleet and works closely with car-sharing services to coordinate activities across the city.

Nationally, the number of car-share users has grown to around 730,000, with the Dutch government’s target of 700,000 car-share users by 2021 through the Green Deal – Car Sharing II already achieved earlier this year.

Image: Viv Lynch (Flickr)

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