A big EuroVelo cake complete with a map and most of the city of Nantes’ reserves of chocolate was baked in celebration of the European cycle route network’s 20th Anniversary. The last two decades have seen the concept go from an ambitious and visionary idea to an ambitious and visionary reality: 14 long distance cycle routes which connect the continent over their combined 70,000 km.
Held the day before the Velo-city 2015 Conferences in Nantes kicked off, the Annual National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators (NECC/Cs) meeting took place with a multitudinous assistance: over 40 participants from 22 countries, from Iceland to Turkey and from Spain to Finland. The EuroVelo NECC/Cs met to discuss EuroVelo’s hot topics at this yearly meeting of those that make this project a reality on the ground. Among the issues discussed, particular attention was paid to:
- The French, German, Spanish NECC’s presented the current status of the EuroVelo network in their countries and their efforts to implement the routes by 2020.
- The services provided by the ECF for the NECC/Cs: web sites, manuals, promotion, etc.
- The ongoing EuroVelo projects supported by the EU: EuroVelo 8 and EuroVelo 13
- Progress with the EuroVelo candidate routes
EuroVelo Council Member, Jens Erik Larsen also took the opportunity to look back over the development of the European cycle route network over the past 20 years. He was well-placed to do so – he has been involved since the very beginning! Then, during the afternoon coffee break, all the participants joined in the cutting of the specially-commissioned EuroVelo 20th birthday cake (complete with indoor fireworks!).
There were further opportunities for everyone to network and share best practices during the evening too, as the French NECC – the Départements & Régions cyclables (DRC) – very generously invited all the participants for dinner at the local restaurant Nature and Fourchette.
The setting for the annual meeting was la Cité in Nantes, France where Velo-city 2015 is taking place. Between the 3rd and 5th of June, 1,250 participants from all around the world will meet to talk cycling. Good practice examples and ideas will be exchanged; project plans will be presented; and cycle routes and brands will be promoted… in short it is the number one cycling event of the year. If you happen to be there, we encourage you to come by the ECF booth although we can’t promise there’ll be any cake left!
You can view all the presentations from the Annual NECC/Cs Meeting here.