France to boost cycling with better bike lanes, tax incentives

Published September 15, 2018
Paris: A woman rides a bicycle along a bike path on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge on Friday.—Reuters
Paris: A woman rides a bicycle along a bike path on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge on Friday.—Reuters

PARIS: France plans to boost cycling with better bike lanes, financial incentives for bicycle commuters and measures against bike theft, the government said.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who will formally announce the plan later on Friday in the Atlantic coast city of Nantes, told local daily Le Courrier de l’Ouest the state will invest about 350 million euros ($410 million) over seven years in cycling infrastructure.

“The idea is that the state will help local authorities finance a number of infrastructures that will help reduce discontinuities between bike lanes and to facilitate dangerous crossings,” Philippe was quoted as saying.

Unlike most other transport policy issues, bike lane construction is not a national but a municipal responsibility, which means that most French bike lanes only run for a short stretch and rarely connect to other cities’ bike facilities.

Cycling organisations have long asked for more continuity in bike lanes because interruptions make people afraid to cycle to work.

Olivier Schneider, head of French Bike Users Federation FUB, said the 350 million euro cycling fund falls well short of French President Emmanuel Macron’s election promise of 200 million euros per year, but he said he hoped it would spur municipalities into planning new bike facilities. “Fifty million euros per year will not turn France into the Netherlands, but it is a start,” Schneider said.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Slow start
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Slow start

Despite high attendance, the NA managed to pass only a single money bill during this period.
Sindh lawlessness
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Sindh lawlessness

A recently released report describes the law and order situation in Karachi as “worryingly poor”.
Punjab budget
15 Jun, 2024

Punjab budget

PUNJAB’S budget for 2024-25 provides much fodder to those who believe that the increased provincial share from the...
Budget and politics
Updated 14 Jun, 2024

Budget and politics

PML-N, scared of taking bold steps lest it loses whatever little public support it has, has left its traditional support — traders — virtually untouched.
New talks?
14 Jun, 2024

New talks?

WILL this prove another false start, or may we expect a more sincere effort this time? Reference is made to the...
A non-starter
14 Jun, 2024

A non-starter

WHILE the UN Security Council had earlier this week adopted a US-backed resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza...