EuroVelo is facing a busy and fascinating 2016. The European Cycle Route Network has some major events happening throughout the coming year. 2016 will bring a new EuroVelo route to the network, the EuroVelo – Greenways Cycling Tourism Conference will be held in Vienna and EuroVelo will be attending the ITB Berlin. Check out our diary below!
EuroVelo attended FITUR Madrid, the world͛’s second largest travel show (after ITB Berlin) and the main tourism fair for the Spanish, South American and Portuguese markets. In the framework of the Silver Cyclists project, EuroVelo was invited to attend the workshop organised by the European Greenways Association (EGWA) and the Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE): ‘Greenways outdoor: greenways without borders and barriers’.
The Départements & Régions cyclables (DRC) have published the new 2015 figures of the cycle route network across the country, thanks to the French Cycle Route Observatory. It highlights just how fast the network is growing in France. In total, 625 km of new cycle routes were added in 2015. The DRC, French National EuroVelo Coordination Centre, welcomes the new data as both a sign of the growing importance of cycle routes and as an aid for future decisions on the development of new routes.
The gradual extension of the national cycle route network of Luxemburg will include the realisation of the EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena route by linking Luxemburg city to Schengen. The route will be finalised in 2018 among other measures.
The first interactive information point has been installed in Breisach, Germany, as a part of a project aimed at developing the tourist potential of EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Cycle Route.
For the first time ever, Europe’s public and private tourism actors have come together to call for the European Union to do more for this important industry. The Tourism Manifesto‘s emphasis on sustainable tourism, as promoted through the EuroVelo project, is crucial to the future competitiveness of the European Tourism market.
The new Call was published in November and again includes references to both EuroVelo and cycling generally. With a budget of 7.6 billion Euros, it is a fantastic opportunity to realise cycling projects that connect with other major transport projects.
The end of the year is approaching, which provides a good opportunity to look back over what has been a successful year for EuroVelo. The cycle route network has celebrated its 20th year of existence and there have been some unforgettable moments and important achievements. This is EuroVelo’s year in review.
The NGO Minsk Cycling Community is the coordinator for development of the Belarusian segment of EuroVelo Route 2. For several years they have researched various routes and localities to find an optimal track. Finally, this year the NGO managed to get a grant for plotting and marking the first segment of the route, which will stretch from Minsk to the west, in the direction of Poland.
The EuroVelo 8 – The Mediterranean Route project has finished and delivered high quality results and has had a significant impact on the development of the route and the number of people using it. The outstanding achievement is the brand new www.eurovelo8.com web site.
After a collaborative campaign run by several European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) members, Eurostar announced last Friday that it was cancelling its proposed new bike carriage policy and would instead continue to accept fully mounted bicycles in its registered luggage service.
In Wallonia, things are a bit different. Instead of having a french “déjeuner”, they prefer having a decent “lunch”. Also, in terms of cycling, instead of using the term Greenways (“voies vertes”), they chose the acronym RAVeL for their autonomous network of slow lanes (Réseau Autonome de VoiEs Lentes). The growth of the RAVeL routes over the past 20 years has been a story of pragmatism but one which has finally resulted in an extensive network of over 1400 km.
The end of September marked the close of the eighteen-month EuroVelo 13 project, which has involved partners in eight countries along the northern half of the Iron Curtain Trail. The partners can look back on some notable achievements, including a completed EuroVelo13.com website and brand new cycle tourism package offers.
The Silver Cyclists project has officially been launched in September, aiming at increasing the number of seniors undertaking cycling holidays both domestically as well as to other European destinations.
Sometimes improbable things happen when a group of people genuinely believe in their creating power. Nobody thought that Belarus could be part of the EuroVelo network but today reality proves them wrong. Jens Erik Larsen shares his impressions.
EuroVelo routes featured prominently again in this year’s European Greenways Award. This year the awards were held on 16th October in Namur, Belgium. In total, seven greenways from Germany, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom and Czech Republic were recognised as best practices examples.
Between 7th – 9th October the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) organised a training event in Brussels on the European Certification Standard. The 14 participants from across Europe were able to learn about the process of certifying routes both theoretically, through the European Certification Standard Manual, and practically, through a certification field trip.
The vibrant city of carnival, kölsch beer and the most visited tourist attraction in Germany – the Cologne Cathedral – rewards visitors with its charm, humour and countless cultural offers. Besides its exuberant lifestyle, Cologne faces major traffic challenges. In fact the city has just inherited the title of German ‘traffic jam capital’ from Stuttgart. It seems that EuroVelo can play an important role here – let’s take a closer look!
The European Cyclists’ Federation has developed an application for portable devices that will improve the collection of data and calculation of the evaluation results when certifing EuroVelo routes.
The “Bicistaffetta 2015“, the annual FIAB ride along national EuroVelo routes, took place from 30 August to 5 September 2015 starting from Benevento and ending in Brindisi following EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena. The Bicistaffetta seeks to improve the national bicycle network as well as spreading the importance of cycling generally, especially amongst local councils.
The three ambitious cyclists that made up the NowWeBike tour have finally arrived to Brussels after having cycled on 2,700km across the continent on EuroVelo routes. Their arrival coincided with MOVEWeek and the ECF’s Secretary General Dr Bernhard Ensink was on hand to give them a warm welcome.
The development of cycling tourism in South-East Europe is starting to take shape. A meeting of relevant stakeholders took place recently for developing cycling tourism in this region.
Velo-city Global 2016 invites cycling enthusiasts from around the world to share their interesting experience, innovative thinking, and professional insight with a global audience. (call can be found here)
Velo-city is open to all forms of cycling – if you deal with long distance cycle routes or cycling tourism you are encouraged to apply.
When someone thinks about Marbella, immediately many words come to one’s mind: luxury, glamour, sailing, good weather and gastronomy. But in few months the´diamond of the Costa del Sol´ will add a new word to the recipe of success: cycling on EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route.
As part of the ongoing EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail project, the route’s dedicated website has been completed with more detailed information added about the northern section of the route from Austria all the way up to the coast of the Barents Sea in Norway. For anyone planning to cycle all or part of this section then the website should make route even more accessible.
A new study by Sustrans, the British National EuroVelo Coordinator, has demonstrated the growing importance of cycling tourism for the economy. It found that leisure and tourism cycling on the British National Cycle Network, which is integrated in the EuroVelo network, supports over 15,000 jobs and directly contributes £650m (approximately €890m) to the economy each year.
In a recent interview with the German newspaper „Die Welt“, MEP Michael Cramer used the example of EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic Black Sea to explain the state of cycling tourism in Europe today and also considered the challenges it faces and what can be done to improve the conditions for cyclists generally.
The European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC research) in Italy is undertaking research into how to improve tourism offers for cyclists and mountain bikers in the Alps and they currently need your help!
The ECF, in collaboration with the project partners, has developed a web site that aims to gather the existing information on this 5,888 km long cycle route that crosses through 11 European countries. This work was done in the framework of the EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route project which is supported by the European Commission DG Grow COSME programme.
Looking at the EuroVelo map there are some notable absences from the European cycle route network. One such omission is the Portuguese Atlantic Coast, which includes the country’s capital Lisbon. The National EuroVelo Coordinator in Portugal, Federação Portuguesa Cicloturismo e Utilizadores de Bicicleta (FPCUB), is trying to correct this oversight and have applied for EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route to be extended. Last month, Ed Lancaster from the EuroVelo Management Team paid a visit to see how things were progressing.
Steady progress is being made on the EuroVelo routes in Wallonia. EuroVelo 3 – The Pilgrims Route and EuroVelo 5 – Via Romena Francigena pass through the southern region of Belgium. Both routes are based on RAVeL itineraries, the regional greenways network that forms long-distance cycle routes. In most cases these follow regenerated sections of disused train lines and canal banks and make for ideal cycling conditions.
In what could be a first for the EuroVelo network, the Luxembourg government has recently announced plans for a new cycle and pedestrian path which will be suspended beneath a bridge in the centre of Luxembourg City. The path will form part of EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena.
June brought good news from the Czech Republic where a new section of EuroVelo 4 – Central Europe Route was officially opened between Karlovy Vary (or Carlsbad) and the natural attraction Svatošská Rocks. The route includes an impressive new bridge over the River Ohře/Eger.
Maps are a very useful resource. This is true at the planning stage, the implementation phase and at the final, consumable phase of a cycling project. This month two maps were published in France that illustrate well how maps can be a useful resource for the end user as much as for the policy-maker.
Since the application to join the EuroVelo network was submitted at the end of 2013, the Rhone Cycle Route – proposed EuroVelo route 17 – has been quickly developed. The French and Swiss stakeholders who are promoting the route have made significant efforts to improve the infrastructure, signalisation, coordination, promotion and services along the route and it is now poised to become one of the most popular cycle routes in Europe. As part of the application process, EuroVelo Management Team member Jesus Freire paid a visit to check on the progress being made.
Mobile phone applications are a huge resource for cycling. Many bicycle sharing schemes have their own apps which allow users to monitor availability and can help boost usage. Other cycling apps include route trackers and itinerary planners. In this article we explore the newly released ‘Bas-Rhin à vélo’ app which features EuroVelo routes 5 and 15.