The Luxembourg Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure François Bausch, several EU ambassadors, green MPs and representatives of cycling associations gathered in front of the Grand Ducal palace to explore the city on two wheels. ECF was invited as coordinator of the Bike2Work project.
Bike2Work programmes work. Often publicly subsidised, they help reduce traffic congestions, air pollution, and a stressful and unsafe urban environment. They also make people healthier (and thus more productive), more punctual and even happier. To support these claims, the Dutch embassy in Luxembourg organized the ‘Bike2Work promotion tour’ in the framework of the Cycling Festival Europe 2016 and in cooperation with the cycling association and ECF member, LëtzebuergerVëlos-Initiativ.
The initiative followed the Informal Transport Council held in October 2015 under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, during which Ministers and Secretaries of State adopted a "Declarationon cycling as a climate friendly mode of transport”, also known as the Declaration of Luxembourg. The declaration cited cycling as "a European success story" and is based on the four primary motivations of innovation, environment, health and financing.
Now that the Presidency has passed to the Netherlands, a nation with 5.5 million more bicycles than people, the governments of both countries have joined forces top romote this eco-friendly form of transport and encourage the public to use it as a means of getting to work or school.
A smiling Minister Bausch arrived on his foldable bike and led the group for a tour of the city centre, heading towards Residence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, Mr Peter Kok, where an informative workshop and discussion was held.
Minister Bausch highlighted the importance of cycling practices as a leverage to healthier, safer and cleaner cities. He also outlined the impact of the new infrastructural investments in Luxembourg on non-motorized transportation, especially cycling.
Marco Ciarrocchi, Project Officer of Bike2Work at ECF, was one of the representatives of the cycling associations invited to the workshop. Bike2Work campaigns are having great success in boosting cycling commuter numbers. Based on previous experiences inpartners’ countries, campaigns are also proven to be highly effective in achieving sustained behavioural change that continues long after the action. A sa result, an increase on the number of people cycling to work achieves extensive energy savings and CO2 reductions. The project implementation shows that even in new-comer countries, a Bike2Work campaign can lead to successful stories, especially if we push employers to promote cycling among their employees, creating a behaviour change and getting more people to bike to work every day.