EuroVelo at the TEN-T Days in Riga
The Latvian Presidency of the European Union ended in Riga with the hosting of the TEN-T Days to discuss the latest developments and opportunities for the trans-European transportation network. ECF as the coordinator of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network presented the opportunities that investments in cycling offer for Europe and what kind of new opportunities have arisen since cycling has been integrated into the official guidelines and regulations. - See more at: http://www.ecf.com/news/eurovelo-at-the-ten-t-days-in-riga/#sthash.WmQMCRnw.dpuf
One of our first visitors at the EuroVelo booth was the European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. She confirmed that cycling will be tabled during next EU Presidency (Luxembourg), a great opportunity for cycling in Europe.
During the event Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) presented the working principles regarding the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and said ‘the main indicator to award loans and guaranties under the Junker plan will be the return of investment’. Since investments in cycling projects have the best return in the transport sector, we believe that cycling projects could play an important role in the Junker Plan. There remains one vital point to be lobbied – ensure that all (external) costs and benefits are taken into account when these calculations and decisions are made.
There were over 1,000 attendees at the TEN-T Days in Riga, most of which visited our booth. The synergies between TEN-T project and cycling infrastructure such as the EuroVelo routes were highlighted to visitors of the EuroVelo booth. A significant number of those who visitors were national and regional public body representatives from all over Europe. They all agreed that Europe needs investments in transport and cycling can deliver in terms decarbonisation, economic growth and jobs creation.
During the second day of the event, Ádám Bodor – EuroVelo Director – met the Latvian Minister of Transport, Anrijs Matīss and his team. They expressed their support for cycling, for EuroVelo, EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail- and for the creation of a National EuroVelo Coordination Centre. The minister clearly expressed the European Union must offer financial support to the development of the EuroVelo network.
Riga was the launch of an interesting period for cycling and transport in Europe. It seems it’s time for cycling and cycling is ready.
Click here if you want to know more about cycling and EuroVelo in the TEN-T.
Text and photo credits: ECF