At the beginning of December an official press release for the funding of three cross-border greenway projects in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was announced that will open up new sustainable cross border travel routes for both cyclists and pedestrians. The EU’s INTERREG VA Programme has offered approximately €23.27 million.This will fund the development of greenways in three different areas including one joining Carlingford to Newry, a route from Monaghan into Armagh along the Ulster Canal and three different routes in the North West, one from Strabane to Lifford and two from Derry/ Londonderry into Donegal. One of these routes is good news for the further development of EuroVelo 1 in Ireland.
The end of the year is approaching, which provides a good opportunity to look back over what has been a successful year for EuroVelo. There have been some unforgettable moments and important achievements in the year 2016. This is EuroVelo’s year in review.
The EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean route aims to connect Europe’s Mediterranean region, from Cádiz in the West to Cyprus in the East, by a high-quality long distance cycle route. It forms part of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, which can be used by cycle tourists as well as by local people for day-to-day mobility.
In line with slow and green tourism, river tourism and cycling tourism are compulsory linked by the tourism products they offer and by the networks on which they rely. Being aware of their common operational areas our National Coordination Centre Départements & Régions Cyclables (DRC) and “Voies Navigables de France” (VNF) signed an interesting partnership agreement in September. A national meeting between the two networks will be held on March 27, 2017 in Paris.
The Riga Cycling Conference is held annually on the last Friday of November, because this time of the year nothing else takes place! However, this is the biggest cycling conference in the Baltics and maybe in Eastern Europe, gathering 120 professionals within transport, planning and tourism. This year the topic was Cycling Tourism, and several speakers from abroad participated, invited by the Dutch Embassy. The conference was organized by The Traffic Department of Riga City Council and the Latvian Cyclists Union.
Martin Forsberg and Joakim Bjerhem of the traffic and environmental consultants Koucky & Partners have published a new study (in Swedish, conclusions are available in English as well) at the end of September 2016. As the knowledge on cycling and cyclist behaviour and preferences are still limited they decided to undertake a study looking into all the different methods and tools to collect empirical data on cycling and cyclists. They gained some really interesting results and recommendations.
The City of Užice in Western Serbia rebuilt the first 5 kilometers of abandoned railroad route in the river Djetinja canyon during 2015 and 2016 and intends to extend the next 7 km to the village and lake Vrutci. On of the first steps to apply for a new EuroVelo route.
The EuroVelo 5 – Via Rome Francigena project was officially been launched in April 2016, aiming at diversifying the European tourism offer through the development of EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena as an innovative transnational thematic cycle route for sport and wellness tourism, capitalizing the Via Romea Francigena and its importance to our shared European cultural heritage.
The ECF was invited to join the VI Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Advisory Forum, which was held in Vilnius, Lithuania from 26th to 27th October.
A new TEN-T Call was published on 13th October 2016 which included new references to both cycling and EuroVelo. The new Call makes €1.9 billion of funding available for transport. It is a fantastic opportunity to realise cycling projects that connect with other major European transport projects.
Ever since its inception, the World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27 September to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. It seeks to highlight tourism’s potential to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and this year it was particularly addressing the age group 55+ (silver age) – one of the most pressing challenges.
On Saturday 15th October representatives of the National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators’ (NECC/Cs) met in Vienna to present best practices, exchange experiences and agree how to continue the successful development of EuroVelo across the continent.
Successful EuroVelo, Greenways and Cycling Tourism Conference ends with the signing of the Charter of Silver Cyclists
Over 70 participants from 23 nationalities attended the third edition of the conference organised by the European Cyclists‘ Federation (ECF) and the European Greenways Association (EGWA).
Developed through the SilverCyclists project, the EuroVelo.com website now features a search engine for bookable offers. This search engine allows you to search for specific cycling offers along EuroVelo routes.
The Turkish Association for Healthy Cities organised in Bursa (Turkey) a workshop on ´Cycling as a mean of transportation and leisure´. Representatives of the most important Turkish cities and regions attended this workshop and shared their experiences regarding the development of cycling and cycling tourism in their cities and regions.
Velo-city Arnhem-Nijmegen wants your experience, studies, projects and reports on the ‘Freedom of Cycling’, in order to gather, learn and exchange with people from different countries.
During the last days of August, the Latvian city of Liepāja welcomed representatives of the transnational consortium working on the Iron Curtain Train Experience (ICTE) project. Despite not being located on the border of two countries split by the ‘Iron Curtain’, this section of the route contains lots of reminders of the Cold War period and how Europe was once divided into East and West, as the participants in the project meeting found out.
Mariusz Revesz – Hungary’s new commissioner for cycling – held a conference with EuroVelo director Ádám Bodor on the future of the cycle routes in the country, with some very positive implications for the EuroVelo routes.
EuroVelo National Coordinator in the UK, Sustrans, has recently published the first ever guidebook on the management of Greenways in the UK.
This year again, between the 7th & 8th July 2016, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) organised its Certification Training Course in Brussels, on the European Certification Standard. The 17 participants from different European countries learned about the certification process of the routes.
Following the fruitful preparation of the ‘AtlanticOnBike’ project proposal meeting in Biarritz, the lead project partner Pyrénées Atlantiques has submitted the Expression of Interest to the Interreg Atlantic Area’s Joint Technical Secretariat.
In the context of the Silver Cyclists project, the 7 involved partners have developed a set of bookable offers aimed at senior cyclists. The 16 pilots from 5 different countries use the EuroVelo network as a backbone, going on the EuroVelo 8, 10, 13 and 15 routes.
Following the enthusiastic reaction to the ECF’s EuroVelo booth at the TEN-T Days event in Riga in 2015, the team returned again this year to promote the fact that measures related to EuroVelo routes and cycling generally can now be included in TEN-T projects. The TEN-T Days took place in Rotterdam this time, due to the Netherlands hosting the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and brings together some of the major figures related to transport in Europe.
EuroVelo welcomes the addition of the latest national coordinator to the European cycle route network. The organisation ‘Radlobby’ will be in charge of coordinating the national efforts in Austria.
The EuroVelo 5 – Via Rome Francigena project was officially launched in April 2016, aiming at diversifying the European tourism offer through the development of EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena as an innovative transnational thematic cycle route for sport and wellness tourism, capitalizing on the Via Romea Francigena pilgrims route and its importance to our shared European cultural heritage.
This year, the annual EuroVelo certification training course will take place between Thursday 7th and Friday 8th July 2016. During the two days participants will be trained in how to correctly certify a section of a EuroVelo route.
According to a recent report by the British National EuroVelo Coordinator, Sustrans, called Fit For Life, the construction of new walking and cycling routes has clear public health benefits, especially regarding physical activity.
On the 25th May, EuroVelo’s Ed Lancaster gave a presentation at the European Spa Association’s (ESPA) Annual Congress on the many benefits of combining cycling and spa tourism. As Ed pointed out, this combination is already proving to be a success is many parts of Europe.
Latest report on the number of cyclists on French cycle routes shows increases on EuroVelos 1, 6 and 17
The French organisation ‘Départements et Régions Cyclables’ (DRC) has presented its latest statistics on the number of users of French cycle routes in 2015. Compared with the figures collected in previous years in their ‘national frequenting platform’ PNF, the report found an increase in the number of users, especially on the EuroVelo routes 1, 6 and 17.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is conducting a research study related to the use of digital technologies within tourism SMEs across the European Union.
The Silver Cyclists project reached the half way point in the month of April with a second project meeting. Hosted by the Spanish Railways Foundation in Madrid on April 7th-8th, partners from 7 different European countries attended this fruitful meeting in order to monitor the project implementation. The meeting focused on the work developed so far with a special look into the next steps.
This year, EuroVelo is honoured to welcome three new members to its network of National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators. The new NECCs in Denmark and Serbia and the new NEC in Slovenia will make the link between the European and the national and regional levels regarding cycling tourism.
The European Commission recently published a new Flash Eurobarometer on tourism. This survey highlights the importance of cycling tourism in the general tourism market.
On the 5th April 2016, the European Commission organised a high level conference on attracting investment in tourism. The conference focused on several important aspects, including financing, upgrading skills and improving the business environment, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European tourism sector. And cycle tourism featured prominently in the discussions!
Project partners from the EU-supported Iron Curtain Trail Experience (ICTE) project met in Znojmo in the Czech Republic last month. Top of the agenda was the development of a new application for smart phones and tablets covering the most developed sections of this long distance cycle route.
The EuBike project connects tourism providers and cyclist tourists in order to improve tourism offers aimed at cyclists. With the goal of improving the overall quality of cycling tourism, the project developed an electronic learning programme and also encouraged tourism providers and cyclists to provide feedback on good practice.
This year Velo-city travelled to Asia or the first time ever, with the latest edition of the premier international planning conferences on cycling taking place in Taipei, Taiwan at the end of February and beginning of March. As always cycling tourism featured prominently in the programme and the following article provides an overview of the key discussions if you were not able to make it.
EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route is a long distance cycle route currently running between Nordkap in northern Norway and Sagres in Southwestern Portugal. Following an application submitted by the Portuguese Federation of Cycletourism and Bicycle Users (FPCUB) it has been announced that from the 1st July 2016 the route will extend from Sagres all the way along the Portuguese Atlantic Coast to Caminha on the Portuguese/Spanish border.