It's just been announced that 16 new long distance inter-city cycle routes will be built across the country with central government support of 21 million euros and local council support making up the rest of the 80 million euro combined cost of the schemes.
The new routes are targeting places where presently there are traffic jams on the roads, the intention is to convince drivers to cycle. Not only commuters, but also employers are interested. Cyclists are less likely to be ill, need no car parking space, have more reliable working hours due to not getting stuck in traffic jams, and also improve the environment.
These routes are particularly planned to support existing busy commuting routes of up to 15 km in each direction as this is seen as a distance which you can reasonably expect people to ride.
The existing cycle paths will be upgraded to have better surfaces, better signs and better lighting. Also there will be improvements to bridges and tunnels.
A faster cycling route improves how well cycling competes with driving. The potential is large because more than half of all commutes in the Netherlands are over a distance of under 15 km.
In the Netherlands, 35% of all journeys under 7.5 km are already by bicycle. Also, 15% of journeys between 7.5 km and 15 km take place by bike. For all distances over 15 km, the numbers drop to just 3% of journeys. However, even for these longer distances that's still a larger percentage by bike than people make even of short journeys in many other countries.
See more articles about funding. It's not entirely clear how much of the money here is new, and how much comes from the existing pot. Also see more articles about the Netherlands' growing network of intercity superhighways for bicycles.
Thanks to both my colleague Harry, and also intercityfietser who both alerted me to this. It's infrastructure on a country sized scale, not merely a city sized scale. But in the usual Dutch way it's being talked about rather modestly, and has not been the subject of press releases sent all around the world...
The statistics for cycling modal share over different distances came from "Cycling In The Netherlands", one of the documents linked from our articles page.
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