However, there is a lack of dedicated cycle lanes across the EU, leading to a significant risk of accidents on the streets and roads, and insufficient parking spaces for bicycles. In addition, measures to prevent bicycle theft are insufficient and there is a lack of charging stations for electric bicycle batteries, which limits the mass use of bicycles in cities.
The EU does not yet have a single policy in the area of bicycle use, but it is the responsibility of each member state individually, and each establishes its own regulatory framework, each works at its own pace and in accordance with its own understanding and needs, and the practice is uneven.
At an even lower, local or regional level, practical measures are taken, such as the development of a cycling network or the adaptation of the public transport network to facilitate combined travel.
Intervention at the EU level for now consists only of promoting the use of bicycles, providing financial support, through the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Fund for Recovery and Resilience, and the exchange of experiences, “best practices”.
At the same time, the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, writes EPRS, as well as the announcements of the European Commission on the new EU framework for urban mobility, and the European Commission document “Save Energy”, emphasize the need to increase the share of public transport, walking and cycling, but there is still no strategy for this at the EU level.
The European Parliament has repeatedly emphasized and supported the bicycle as a form of transport, as well as the interests of citizens who use it as a means of transport.
In the 2015 resolution on the implementation of the “European Commission’s White Paper on Transport” from 2011, the EP emphasized the importance of supporting regional programs for the establishment and expansion of bicycle networks in large European regions, and for better data collection on the daily practice of using bicycles in the overall transportation.
The use of bicycles as a means of transport was also mentioned in the 2020 “Green Deal” resolution, in which the EP called for a more comprehensive urban mobility plan to reduce congestion and improve life in cities and larger settlements by supporting zero-emission public transport. and infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
In the 2021 resolution on the “EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030”, the EP emphasized the importance of the new cycling infrastructure that member states have introduced or used more widely especially due to the needs during the covid-19 pandemic, and “which not only needs to remain as it is, but also to further expand and improve”.
In the draft resolution on the “Urban Mobility Framework” in 2022, the EP also drew attention to deaths on the streets and roads in cities, since 70 percent of the victims of these accidents are vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists, adds EPRS.