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Meeting of French authorities represents a further step forward for EuroVelo 8

16.08.2013
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Earlier this year we reported from Spain on the installation of signage along the northern section of EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route there (the first EuroVelo signs in the country).  In June, there was further good news for one of our most popular routes when French public authorities organised a meeting to discuss how the route could be developed further on their side of the border.

Thanks to the initiative of the town of Béziers Méditerranée, French public authorities from along EuroVelo 8 met on the 6th June to discuss the development of the route.  Twenty participants were present at the meeting, including representatives of the French National EuroVelo Coordination Centre – the Départements & Régions cyclables – to exchange ideas and reflections. It is estimated that approximately 30% of the route is now in place with further developments planned for the coming years.  However, there remain some major funding issues, especially in the Var département.

As with elsewhere along the Mediterranean, the potential of EuroVelo 8 is clearly recognised but the challenge is now to gain wider support (particularly political) to enable the creation of a dedicated committee, as has happened with some of the other EuroVelo routes in France.  The continued absence of the Region of Languedoc-Roussillon from discussions about cycle routes and greenways was identified as being a particular challenge at this stage.

Nevertheless, the meeting represents a promising start and it is hoped that the public authorities will want to take advantage of the tremendous potential this route has, particularly with regards to extending the tourist season.