Declaration on Cycling as a climate friendly Transport Mode welcomed in Luxembourg

Date

2015 10 09

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The Informal Council meeting of the EU Transport ministers has resulted in the “Declaration of Luxembourg”, an acknowledgment that Europe unanimously seeks to promote cycling as a climate friendly transport mode, change the habits of population and create cycling related employment in the EU.

The declaration provides examples related to the positive impact of cycling on mobility, health and economics. It also includes an action plan that call upon integrating cycling into multimodal transport policy, developing EU level strategic document on cycling and increasing cycling’s mode share.

The document points out that half of all passenger car trips made in most European cities are shorter than five kilometers, therefore, it could be shifted to bicycles or walking on foot.

It emphasizes that more active cycling would benefit the health of different social groups. The declaration stipulates that children who cycle to school concentrate better, employees who cycle to work claim fewer paid sick days, there are fewer road incidents. According to the estimates by the WHO, if every adult in the EU walked or cycled for an additional 15 minutes a day, more than 100 000 premature deaths linked to insufficient physical activity could be avoided annually. In addition, cycling benefits even those, who do not practice, as it reduces noise, pollution and congestion.

Cycling’s impact on economics was also estimated. The declaration states that  the various cycling related activities help to create jobs, contribute to the implementation of such EU objectives as Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, reducing emissions and others.

The objectives of the declaration took into account the 2014 Paris Declaration THE PEP, a World Health Organization and United Nations’ program to develop a ‘pan-European Master Plan for cycling promotion’, where the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania together with other Lithuania’s ministries of Health and Environment are also participating. Lithuania is also implementing in the EU widely supported sustainable urban mobility plan policy and seeks to get closer to the EU average cycling’s share on the tours (EU average – 5 percent, Lithuania’s – up to 1 percent).