On World Bicycle Day, celebrated on 3 June, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights a new master plan that calls countries to acknowledge cycling as an equal mode of transport and to double the level of cycling by 2030.
The Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion provides a set of recommendations to reallocate space for cycling and walking, improve active mobility infrastructure, increase cyclist and pedestrian safety to reduce fatalities, develop national cycling policies and integrate cycling into health policies and urban and transport planning.
Cycling can contribute to improving the environment as well as people’s health, safety and overall quality of life. Each year, about one million deaths in the WHO European Region are attributed to insufficient physical activity. Increasing the level of cycling can help to prevent these deaths. The Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion, endorsed by 56 countries of the pan-European region in May, supports this goal.
During the pandemic, cycling emerged as a viable mobility option that enables physical distancing, relieves the burden on public transport and helps people to meet the minimum requirement for daily physical activity. Many countries have seen an increase in bicycle usage and developed new initiatives to support cycling that are opening the door for new, lasting policies.