MApparently, the government finds it more consensual to promote cycling than to oppose motorway projects. No fewer than six ministers, including the First Minister, took turns during the first Interim Cycling and Walking Group on Friday, May 5, to extol the benefits of “active mobility”., Held at Ministry of Environment. The announced investments – 2 billion euros earmarked by the government by 2027 – are more than anything else published so far.
In September 2018, the date of the first national “Cycle Plan”, the pledged sums reached only 350 million euros over seven years. This money was not spent in vain: according to the elected officials Vélo and the Association of Territories, the share of the bicycle in the trip increased by 8% in 2022 compared to 2021, after the first restrictions.
The French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB), with its 500 local associations, continues to benefit from the excellent relations that its president, Olivier Schneider, developed with Elisabeth Bourne between 2017 and 2019.
“For years, France has started a policy of visible capture. Now there are billions”, comments Annie-Claude Thiolat, Vice President of FUB. However, it notes that with 6 billion euros – 2 billion declared by the state and 4 billion financed by local authorities – “France is less than 30 euros per year and per citizen recommended by a study conducted by the Institute for Environment and Energy Management in 2019”.
Part of the network must be “completely redone”.
Thus, the government will contribute to the financial support for the purchase of bicycles, linear cycle paths or footpaths and underground paths. “It could cost more than 5 million euros.”Florian Le Villen, a consultant at the consulting firm Solci, observes on urban planning and cycling policy.
Specifically, the government hopes to increase the 57,000 kilometers of bicycle lanes to 80,000 today, including 17,000 created since 2017. However, a good part of the existing network “Totally Redo”Olivier Schneider cites ruts formed on a footpath, paths that stop abruptly at a crossroad, or are impassable by tree roots.
Certainly, as Florian Le Villan points out, the barriers are many. “In local authorities, overworked project managers tell us they don’t have time to look after a development”He underlines the example of a rural community of thirty thousand inhabitants in Brittany that has undertaken the task of marking routes using road signs. “It is very delicate work and not very productive, but it is necessary for residents to use the route in their daily journeys. »
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