In partnership with the Spanish Presidency of the European Council, the European Commission is set to hold the Urban Mobility days in Seville from October 4th to October 6th, where it is expected that the European Commission will announce the final version of an EU Cycling Declaration.
This is a highly anticipated political breakthrough for the cycling industry as a whole, as it would recognise cycling as a full-fledged mode of transport with the same status as other transport industries. With such recognition major investment in cycling infrastructure and industry would follow to meet the goal of doubling the number of kilometres cycled by 2030.
Seville will host the ‘Urban Mobility Days’
The selection of Sevilla as a host city of the Mobility days is an appropriate one. Over the past 15 years, the capital of Andalusia, has emerged as a remarkable example of successful cycling initiatives, experiencing an impressive rise in daily cyclists as better infrastructure continues to be built.
However, increase in cycling infrastructure is not dedicated to only major cities as the Mayor of the Municipality of Carmona announced a €180.000 investment into the design of a new bicycle route through the roman Via Agusta. This would continue with the expansion of the Via Agusta initiative, already present in Tarragona, Cartagena, and Albacete which gives cyclist the chance to explore the ruins within longest and busiest roads build by the romans in Spain.
This along with the Junta de Andalucia’s recent declaration announcing the start of a bidding process for the completion of the 22-kilometer cycle and pedestrian lane connecting Jerez and La Barca de la Florida, backed by an expected investment of over €5 million from the European Next Generation plan, demonstrates the progress being made in Spain to connect even its rural regions through cycling infrastructure.
The European Bicycle Declaration has a date
Expectations remain high as the European Commission is expected to launch the European Cycling Declaration on the 5th of October. If approved this would be a major leap forward for the cycling industry, as it would serve as a document to shape future cycling policy for which the Parliament can hold the European Commission accountable.
The Declaration which is expected to elevate the status of cycling as a fully fledge mode of transport will also encourage the production of “Made in Europe” bicycles and components as well as accelerate the development EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, and its 17 routes. Georges Gilkinet, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Karima Delli, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens are expected to be present showcasing the support of the European Parliament and the member states.
Furthermore, I will also be in attendance demonstrating the cycling industry’s endorsement of the Cycling Declaration and European Mobility Days. To commemorate the European year of skills, I will give a presentation on job creation within the cycling sector.
The industry is expected to create one million jobs by 2030 encompassing all different skill levels, from delivery personnel for the last mile cargo bikes deliveries, which do not require driving license to electronic and digital engineers to continue with research and development of batteries.
Overall, this is a great opportunity for Spain to lead the way forward in sustainable mobility and have a united EU follow.
With the celebration of the mobility days and the recently announced €500 million to be spent on building and refurbishing cycling lanes around the country, the 4th largest EU economy could have the chance to become a role model in sustainable mobility and join the ranks of historic cycling nations like the Netherlands.
From Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) we hope the Mobility days and the Spanish Presidency serve as the beginning of Spain’s and Europe’s transition into green mobility, where cycling takes the role as the leading mode of transport and the only alternative that will allow the EU to meet its emissions targets.