Going Going Bike

Apr 022011

Though incredibly hard to believe, Cycling will be discussed as a topic for the first time at the annual International Transport Forum (ITF).

The ITF is a platform that brings together government transport ministers, decision makers, experts and practitioners from around the world to discuss transportation issues around freight, maritime, rail and road transport. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy planning but does not recognise cycling as part of its remit.

The Forum’s meeting, which takes place in Leipzig in Germany in May, will be asked to recognise and acknowledge the documented advantages and benefits of cycling as a daily alternative mode of transportation by the European Cyclists Federation.

They will be presented with the “Charter of Seville”, a 15-point checklist of the virtues of cycling that evolved from the recently concluded Velo-city 2011, the international conference on cycling and cycling promotion that took place in Seville on March 23-25.

The Charter of Seville asks Ministers of Transport to promote cycling at international level and to invest substantially in cycling in their own countries in years to come. The full Charter and the 15 point checklist can be downloaded here.

Speaking at the closing of Velo-City, Bernhard Ensink, the Secretary General of European Cyclist Federation, said that despite cycling not being an innovative concept, it would be the first time that the ITF looked at cycling and the social aspects of cycling transportations policies rather than just technical aspects alone.

“Cycling needs engagement and investments from all of us. The larger bicycle associations, companies, scientists, consultants, politicians, regional and national authorities and international institutions, we all need to join hands to successfully promote cycling as a way forward towards a sustainable future.”

Velo-City saw 120 themes presented and discussed at plenary sessions, workshops and round table discussions with the focus being on how bicycle policy can be integrated in urban transport planning and how cycling can be promoted for various target groups.

More than 900 participants representing 47 countries, predominantly from Spain, the Benelux and Germanic countries, Scandinavia and North America, attended the event. Delegates included cyclist associations, city officials, architects, urban planners, politicians, NGO’s and representatives from the bicycle industry.

See also:

Seville’s transformation
Dutch to fund commuter routes

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