European Commission documents

This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 35.

Is the EU going to make us all have ‘Dutch’ style bikes and ride on the right? No, don’t worry, in fact, rejoice; two excellent publications are available FREE from the Internet.

Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities

This publication kills many of the myths that are cited against the re-allocation of road space to cyclists. From the Foreword:

The worst enemies of the bicycle in urban areas are not cars, but long-held prejudices. This handbook therefore corrects some of the prejudices connected with the use of the bicycle as a regular mode of transport in the urban environment. It also suggests some simple, inexpensive and popular measures which could be implemented easily

Why the bicycle:

Every trip taken with a bicycle rather than a car generates considerable savings and advantages both for the individual and for the community

Daring to redistribute:

If they are incorrectly conceived, cycle tracks induce a false sense of security in both motorists and cyclists….indeed badly conceived cycle tracks increase the risks of accidents.

The European Greenways Good Practice Guide: Practical Tips for Local Decision Makers

In general terms Greenways are defined as communication routes developed for recreational or utility trips (shopping, work, education etc.) using infrastructure closed to motorised traffic. This handbook gives many examples of successful projects throughout the EU. It also has a bibliography, and lists of useful addresses and Internet sites.

Both these handbooks should provide a good fund of ideas for campaigners, councillors, and all those interested in promoting cycling. They are especially useful in countering arguments that the provision of facilities for cyclists is not good value for money when compared with other projects.

Extracts from both these publications can, I believe, be reproduced, provided the source is acknowledged.

Jim Chisholm