In renewing its four-year-old “Plan Vélo” at a press conference on September 20, the French government is to increase the spending on everyday cycling to $249 million per year.
However, climatologist Valérie Masson-Delmotte and president of the French Federation of Bike Users (FEB) Olivier Schneider had earlier suggested that $2.4 billion would be needed for France to meet its objective of massively increasing cycle use.
Nevertheless, FUB welcomed the funding increase. “The state has never committed so much money to develop cycling in a single year,” stated a FUB press release.
“It’s great news because it will allow communities in rural and suburban situations to become fully involved.” Plan Vélo was launched in 2019 when the current Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, was responsible for the transport portfolio. In a tweet announcing the slight increase in the bicycle plan’s annual budget, Prime Minister Borne said Plan Vélo was “an unprecedented plan” to make cycling a “key mode of transport” and that she wanted to make France a “great cycling nation.”
At a press launch for the new plan —news of which was overshadowed by protests against a left-wing MP who had admitted slapping his wife –Borne said:
“Cycling in cities has taken off in recent years; the challenge for the coming years will be to show that cycling can also be a mode of transport in rural areas.”
As well as building a limited number of new cycleways, the increased funding will help finance cycling lessons for 800,000 school children.A new interministerial cycling committee will be […]